It’s a strange feeling to sit down and consciously ask yourself, “What are my weaknesses?”. Today I am asking myself this question because I think it would be a good exercise to identify key areas for growth. I find that by writing them down, it plucks them from my subconscious and encourages me to create action points for them. I am sharing my thoughts with you all because one of my brand values is to keep learning and growing. I feel like the work that I post on Instagram is my highlight reel, therefore to balance it out, I want to share things that don’t fall within that category.
As I am writing this, I am going to list things that pop into my mind. They might be big things, or little things. The point is that I want to extract them from their lurking-place in my mind, so that I can acknowledge and deal with them. I have no idea if it’s sound business practice to share weaknesses, but whatever, it’s not the end of the world.
Here it goes – a list of the weaknesses to do with my skills, my business, or how I run my business, in no particular order:
- Pointed pen calligraphy – traditional scripts e.g. Copperplate, Spencerian (sometimes I feel like I’m not a ‘real calligrapher’ because I’m not well-versed in traditional scripts)
- Drawing (I would be hard-pressed to be able to draw things without a reference photo)
- Not wanting to share things with clients until they’re perfect in my eyes (the danger with this is that my idea of hitting the brief might be different from what the client likes, so it’s easy to spend all this time just to find out that you’d gone down the wrong track)
- Logistics & shipping (e.g. shipping from Australia can be ridiculously expensive unless it falls under the ‘letter’ threshold. The drawback with this is that there’s no tracking info for these items. I also have inventory in different countries, which is a headache to track and I just want to hide under a table)
- Posting consistently on Facebook (Do people even check Facebook accounts for businesses these day?)
- Website (It needs to flow better and be more of the central hub for my business)
- Email marketing (Newbie at this one. I don’t think my email marketing is very effective)
- Working out what I want to focus on (I’m afraid to be a jack of all trades, but master of none. Some people specialise in wedding calligraphy, others focus on teaching, business branding, selling supplies, etc. I seem to want to dabble in many fields. Not sure if this would be a winning or losing strategy in the long run)
- Difficulty in valuing my own work & pricing (I’ve never been a natural salesperson. I still get anxiety when sending a quote to clients because I worry whether or not they’ll think my prices are reflective of my products and services).
Wow that was a brain dump. Now I’m going to categorise them into higher and lower priority, so that I have a clear idea of what I want to focus on. I am also going to write affirmations for what I’m going to do about them. They say that in order to create new experiences that you want, you need to clearly state your desires. Therefore I’m going to plant the seeds for future growth.
- I am capable of creating a website that is intuitive and allows people to quickly find what they want, clearly articulates the value that my products and services bring to the customer, and fits the aesthetic that reflects my brand (This one is a no brainer. People judge a business by its cover, and for online businesses, the cover is the website).
- I have enough confidence in my own abilities that I will not undervalue myself, nor overcharge and underdeliver. I will seek feedback and constantly improve my service offerings.
- I am a good communicator who will keep my clients involved in design decisions, even if it means sharing rough, handdrawn sketches. People won’t judge you for sending them ideas that look far from polished, but they will if you show them something that you think is perfect but isn’t what they had in mind and there’s little time to make changes!
- I will do my research to find shipping & logistics companies that offer the best value for my customers. I will be proactive in making changes if things don’t work like my customers expect.
- I am a fast learner who wants to test what works and what doesn’t in the world of Facebook and email marketing. I will not be discouraged by the steep learning curve.
- I am naturally more drawn to modern scripts when it comes to pointed pen calligraphy, as I feel like I am able to adapt them to my own style, therefore I will be okay with the fact that I’m not the most ‘technically correct’ calligrapher out there.
- I believe that the ultimate direction of my business will become apparent over time, based on people’s responses and growth in the areas that I’m naturally drawn to.
If you can relate to anything that I've said above, or if you'd like to offer me some advice, my ears are both open. I believe that every person who reads this knows something that I don't, and if they took the time to share it with me, I would be extremely grateful.