What if I told you freelancers have no weaknesses?

freelancers have no weaknesses graphic design blender
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Your response to this question is more important than you’d think, “what are your weaknesses?”

It could possibly cost you that new position or potential client relationship!

Answer this silently in your head right now… What are your weaknesses?

 • • •

I hope you answered wisely, because to your potential employers and clients you shouldn’t have any.

And what if I told you that you actually don’t have any weaknesses?…

You don’t have any weaknesses

Flashback to when I was in high school attending my technical career center half-day: I remember we spent some time building resumes and learning how to successfully attend an interview.

My biggest takeaway from that experience was the idea that I don’t have any weaknesses, only things that I could improve on.

Which when looked at in the right perspective is 100% true.

There’s nothing you can’t do. You can do it all if you choose to.

I’m a graphic designer. I choose to be a “designer”, because my development skills aren’t the best. I can code and develop when I need to, but I don’t have a passion for it.

I’m not going to tell potential clients that my weakness is in website development, because it’s not. It could use improving, but it certainly is not a weakness that will hold me back.

You don’t have to be dishonest about what you can do either. If you’d feel more comfortable being up front about things just explain, “I’ve never worked with this particular thing before, but I’m confident that I can figure it out and I’d be very excited to dig into it to help you realize your vision.”

Never doubt yourself and stay positive

The worst thing you can do to yourself is feel fear and admit that you’re weak in areas.

Entertaining fears and negative thoughts won’t do you any good. It will just trip you up and prevent you from making progress towards the goals you’ve set for yourself.

It’s important to have the mindset that you have no weaknesses, because you don’t!

As creative professionals we have the vexing privilege of working on new and exciting projects all the time. No two projects will ever be the same, and so you’ll never feel completely prepared.

Always be careful to not bite off more than you can chew, learn your limits, but get comfortable with pushing those boundaries and testing the outer limits of your strengths and abilities.

If you’re not learning something new from an experience, what’s the point? Things will just become dull, repetitive and boring.

Remember: always stay positive, and be ready to answer the question, “what are your weaknesses” with, “I have no weaknesses, only things that I can improve on.”

Let’s hear from you…

Since I know you have no weaknesses, share what you feel you could improve on in the comments on this post!

There are a lot of brilliant readers here willing to help if needed – including the GDB team! :)

 

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About Brent Galloway

Brent Galloway is a freelance graphic designer, founder of Your Freelance Career, and author of Start Your Freelance Career. Check out his blog and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Dribbble.

Comments

  1. Brent,

    I LOVE THIS MESSAGE! I’ve always thought the exact thing – “I can do anything I put my mind to.” This makes me confident that I can tackle almost any project. There are some types of projects I prefer not to handle, but if I wanted to I could be amazing at them.

    Great post!

  2. Very well said, Brent. It is so easy to lapse into thinking in terms of weaknesses rather than in terms of challenges and rising to the occasion to solve a new type of problem. This is a great reminder.

  3. Ahhhh! The most right post @ the most right time!
    Thx!
    It’s easy and boring to sit back and wonder what you should have learned in the past. It’s creative and inspiring to work to your future.

  4. Heidi Haaland says:

    It’s these little shifts in thinking that can make all the difference.

  5. My improvements most DEFINITELY could be in confidence, self discipline to practice my craft way more, and not second-guessing whether or not i know my trade (character design and 3D modeling, and currently a photo retoucher). I find it most difficult to practice when my inner bully keeps telling me I don’t know what i’m doing, even after 7 years of school.

  6. Thanks Brent, what a lovely boost of positivity for the day! It’s very true that changing your mindset and ‘self-talk’ can change the very fabric of your business. :-)

  7. Thanks for the honest post Brent. Being positive has become second nature to what I call ..just go get what I want. Which is my first instinct. I have had some serious moments when all caution is thrown to the wind,and I just go for it..whether I have the skill perfected or not. In the process I am learning something new about the skills needed,and my fearless ability to handle it.

  8. SO TRUE! thanks for the reminder!

  9. One of the best posts ever written….

    You can always do better, always improve on anything…whether it is the management of expenses, to creating shapes in Illustrator.

    People need to stop putting so much pressure on themselves and shining spotlights on the abilities they do not possess and be less stressful about work.

    An obvious fact is demonstrated by the most successful artists and designers, and their reason for acquiring that success. They focus on what they are creating and vehemently avoid thoughts of ‘inability’, thoughts of skills and tools that are not part of their repertoire.

    It may be certain an amazing artist like James Jean is not a master of InDesign, or perhaps Stefan Sagmeister is beyond skilled with gouache and water-colours.
    Todd McFarlane received hundreds of rejection letters by many companies and only focused on drawing familiar objects, improve on the skills he already had in his toolbox. Not on the weaknesses the companies were stating in those letters.

    Just look forward and focus on how you are going to create and improve, with less pressure. Be easy about it.

    Don’t look back.

  10. Inspirational post Brent. The paragraph which captured it for me was “As creative professionals we have the vexing privilege of working on new and exciting projects all the time. No two projects will ever be the same, and so you’ll never feel completely prepared.” The Ying & Yang of this industry… esp being a freelancer. The exhilaration of a new project, thoughts burning in your designer mind – am I prepared, PLUS the gut wrenching fear is this the last project, all at the same time! hehe… been doing it for ten years now and no ulcers, no grey hair. Love it.

  11. Great post Brent!

    I’ve always fallen into the trap of beating myself up too much when I try to work on my “weaknesses”. In fact, as you have said, they were just things that I am not good at yet.

    Love this post, and its been a great motivation booster.

  12. My strength is in defining any weakness and improving…that’s why I am a designer!
    MarvinM

  13. Remember: always stay positive, and be ready to answer the question, “what are your weaknesses” with, “I have no weaknesses, only things that I can improve on.”

    I always hear my peers dreading interviews because of this question. Though I have never been asked for my weaknesses at any job interview, next time I go for one, I will be equipped with very powerful words. Cheers Brent.

  14. Sorry, but I found it rather “psycho babbly”.

  15. tony osa says:

    “Always be careful to not bite off more than you can chew, learn your limits, but get comfortable with pushing those boundaries and testing the outer limits of your strengths and abilities.” Great post as always. This paragraph is my guiding principle. So fulfilled subscribing to GDB. Thanks guys.

  16. Written Communication. Because I’m an introvert by nature, my thoughts and my ideas I get, (of course :-) but many times see that others not always. Suggestions? Books?
    Thanks all! Admire your works!

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