Blog post - biggest weakness portrait

If there’s one thing I’ve discovered since becoming a copywriter, it’s that almost all business owners feel inadequate at some point in their journeys.

Maybe in the past you’ve had one of the following thoughts creep into your mind, like:

  • I’m not qualified enough to build a business based on my passion. Maybe I should go back to college or take some further study.
  • I’m too young/old to build an audience. Why would anyone listen to me?
  • I’m a health coach, but I’m not stick thin. Maybe I just don’t have the right ‘look’ to make it in my industry.
  • If people discover my ‘woo’ side, they’ll think I’m weird and won’t take me seriously.

But here’s the funny thing.

Sometimes what you perceive as a weakness is actually your greatest strength – a quality or trait that’s going to blow people away and generate the kind of success you’ve been dreaming of.

Take the ‘domestic goddess’ Nigella Lawson, who has been touring Australia recently.

(And if you don’t know who Nigella Lawson is, you need to get acquainted with her straight away – I suggest starting with her Nutella cheesecake!)

One of the reasons I admire her as a businesswoman so much is that she’s built a multimillion dollar business empire around her best-selling cookbooks and popular TV shows...despite the fact that she’s not a chef (or a trained cook for that matter).

And while many people would view this as a weakness, she’s turned it into one of her most marketable assets.

You see, one of the reasons why she’s so popular is that she doesn’t expect you to slave over an oven for hours or master complex techniques. She’s just passionate about showing people that cooking beautiful meals can be simple, fun and fuss-free.

As she said in one interview: “I do think the fact that I am a bit of a kitchen klutz, and fit cooking into an already busy life (and I started writing food books when I was a non-food columnist with young children), means that I cook in much the same way as my readers, or viewers.”

So next time you experience self-doubt, think about ways you can actually flip that negative thought around.

For example, instead of thinking:

I’m not qualified enough to write a cookbook.

You could say:

A lot of my ideal clients are busy working mothers who don’t have time for Cordon Bleu-style cooking. My simple recipes mean they can cook delicious and nutritious meals, without having to spend hours slaving over an oven. The fact that I’m just like them means that I’m more relatable. In fact, I can use this to my advantage by promoting the fact that my recipes are quick and easy…and that you don’t need to be a qualified chef to make beautiful meals.

So think about which of your ‘weaknesses’ are actually hidden strengths that you can use to promote yourself.

It’s important to take action on this, because not only will those feelings of inadequacy seep through into your copy, they’ll also prevent you from reaching the people who need you the most.

For instance, I experienced a lot of self-doubt when I was just starting out in business. I honestly thought that my quiet personality was something I needed to hide, and that I should pretend to be loud, extroverted and outgoing instead. But as soon as I embraced my introverted nature and made it part of my brand, that’s when things started falling in place and I started attracting a steady stream of clients.

Now I’d love to hear from you! Which of your ‘weaknesses’ is actually a strength in disguise? Scroll down and leave a comment below.

4 Comments on The key to turning your biggest weakness into your most marketable asset

  1. Tracy
    January 25, 2016 at 12:40 am (1 year ago)

    Great information Jehane! I always say, what you think is your mess is actually your message.

    I love Nigella and how comfortable she is with herself.

    • Jehane Sharah
      January 25, 2016 at 9:20 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks for your comment, Tracy. I love that quote so much – it’s brilliant! It’s crazy that so often we think our most powerful qualities are flaws.

  2. Pascale
    January 28, 2016 at 8:29 pm (1 year ago)

    Woaw.. I own an interior design store & I never studied interior design, I always think that this is a weakness.. I registered to an online styling course so that I feel at ease with this, I know clients will take me seriously when I tell them I took a course. I also know that learning is not all it takes to succeed, in my case, creativity, taste & communication are also a major part of the selling process, don’t you think so?

    • Jehane Sharah
      January 28, 2016 at 9:54 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Pascale – thanks for commenting! I believe in the value of ongoing education and self-development, so I think it’s great that you’ve decided to do an interior design course. But I love that you followed your dream and started your interior design business before that point, using all your other skills to succeed. Way to go!


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