Turning weaknesses into strengths

September 1, 2011
Toronto, Canada

[Editor’s note: Craig Ballantyne of InternetIndependence.com is filling in for Simon today. If you’re looking for ways to build alternate sources of income, Craig’s free site is absolutely one of the very best resources out there.]

I got my entrepreneurial start in the fitness industry and have dedicated a significant portion of my life to helping people improve their health, regain their confidence, and transform their bodies.

One thing that I’ve learned over the years is that motivation is critical. Take diets, for example: they aren’t exactly rocket science, but it takes a huge amount of motivation to follow a strict diet… just like it takes motivation for most people to hit the gym 3-5 times per week.

The same principle applies in other parts of our lives. It takes a tremendous amount of motivation… of self-discipline… to get up every day and stay focused on building an alternate source of income.

Maybe you have a great new e-book that you’d like to write… or perhaps launch a new business overseas in one of the many exotic places that Simon Black writes about… or develop the skills to become a successful online currency trader.

But life is full of distractions. And as human beings, we are full of personal challenges. OK let’s be honest– weaknesses. Nobody is perfect, and we all have to overcome our personal weaknesses to become successful.

It took me many years to build a successful fitness business… years before I was writing guest columns in publications like Men’s Health. During that time, I had to overcome my own weaknesses, and I’m going to be very candid with you about how I did that:

My Weakness #1 – Addiction

I come from a family that suffers from addiction. My father was an alcoholic, and his brother was an alcoholic and cigarette smoker. Both had their lives shortened because of it.

I have no intentions of going down that road, but if there really is a gene for addiction, then I guess I have to be addicted to something, right?

If so, then I’m at least going to pick my poison. So I choose knowledge. And by doing so, I channel my weakness into a strength: an insatiable appetite to learn.

Now, given the opportunity, I’d surf the web all day reading various websites… but that behavior, while not destructive, doesn’t further my business. Instead, I fore myself to seek out productive knowledge: things like professional seminars, books, and online courses.

That’s how my weakness becomes a strength.

My Weakness #2 – Laziness

My next biggest weakness is that I am utterly lazy when it comes to manual labor. In fact, I am so lazy that when I was younger, I would put more effort into avoiding work than if I had just gone to work. I’m also mechanically inept, which doesn’t help.

This isn’t a badge of honor for me… just a simple truth that is, in fact, a weakness of mine. I knew that if I wanted to be successful, I had to figure out a way to channel this weakness into building a business based on what I -really- wanted to do with my time.

That’s why I’ve worked for 18 years to build a business that makes money selling my knowledge, not my labor. I turned my weakness into a strength and designed a lifestyle based on working how I want, when I want.

My Weakness #3 – No tech skills

I can barely figure out iTunes (just about had a meltdown yesterday and almost smashed my computer trying to transfer music onto my iPod).

But in reality, that’s VERY good news for people running their own website business.

You see, the money is not made through technological knowledge. You can hire that. Cheap, too. So the simple solution to this weakness is to outsource.

Do NOT spend hours and hours figuring out how to create websites. In fact, I’d say that having superior tech skills will HINDER an online business because you’ll get too focused in the technical weeds.

Instead, you should know WHAT you want, and hire someone else to figure out HOW. Focus on the big ideas that will make you money, let others sweat the small stuff.

You can find cheap website help on these sites:


So turn your technology weakness into a strength by learning how to delegate the tech tasks to someone else. That’s what I did.

Bottom line- there’s no weakness that is insurmountable. Any weakness can be turned into a strength if you have the proper mindset and motivation to do it.

About the author

James Hickman (aka Simon Black) is an international investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter Notes from the Field is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom, make more money, keep more of it, and protect it all from bankrupt governments.

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