Strength vs. Skill

More often than not, Right Hands tend to be collectors of skills. This can be something as broad as having a liberal-arts education where you were interested in classes as wide ranging as ballroom dance all the way to analytical math, or something specific like learning how to weld (you never know when you may need to!) or how to use a specific software program, or what makes a good logo design.

Know the difference between skills and strengths, though - skill is something that can be learned by most anyone (whether it can be mastered is another thing, entirely). A strength is something that is almost innate, a task you can do without thinking, something that comes easy to you. Strengths can be fostered or enhanced or even discovered, but rarely forced. Often, trying to force a weakness (or lack of strength) into a skill will cause tension and resentment to grow. For me, graphic design is one of those things. I have been familiar with the Adobe Creative Suite for over a decade, and have - at times - made concentrated efforts into learning the very basics. I know enough to be dangerous, but every time I try and force myself to dive in again, I break out into a cold sweat, spending hours on something that, in the end, looks like it was created in MS Paint. 

My motto with skills, for as long as I can remember, is “If someone else can do it, so can I.” Of course, this is always followed up with the caveat that, it is more often than not as *good* as someone else, but it is useful to know the steps regardless. An example: I did theatre in high school and college, and mainly focused on learning the basics of building, assembling, and painting sets, building costumes, and other behind-the-scenes things. Fast forward 10 years and I’m heading to a trade show where my company needs to essentially build a small 10x10 booth “set” and display our retail items. Even just the bare knowledge of how it works allowed me to assist in the most efficient, safe, and strong way to create walls and a space to exhibit.

So how do you become a Skill Collector? Take classes, ask questions, go places, try things, just DO. And know HOW you learn - can you read a book about sailing and head out on the lake the next day? Do you learn best in a classroom setting? Do you need to be hands-on to truly understand something? Sign up for something you want to try - nothing is out of the realm of importance! You never know what part of your brain will open up once you start learning some random thing. And, say YES to things, to experiences, to events... because your experiences will eventually turn into the ability for you to say YES to your entrepreneur and help them achieve their goals. 

The best part about collecting skills - even the bare bones of one - is that it gives you the ability to take yet another decision from your entrepreneur, and allow them the freedom to keep moving forward with their ideas. And you never know what door a skill will open for you, or where they will take you.




Beth Dekker