Ayo's Website Design

What are My Strengths and Weaknesses as a Consultant?

I'm going to focus on strengths and weaknesses that are applicable to my role as a web strategy consultant and website designer. Also, I'm not going to list these in any order, but I'll start with my strengths because those are more fun to talk about.

I would say the following are my relevant strengths:
  1. I am an Analytical thinker. When given a business problem to solve, I start by breaking the problem into its smallest parts. For example, if an owner asks me, "Only 2% of my visitors are purchasing, what do you think is the problem?" I rarely start giving answers right away. Typically, I start asking questions to understand all of the variables that could affect the website's success. Then, once I understand the variables and the competitive environment, I start offering ideas. I think this is a strength, because I notice that many consultants start answering questions before they could possibly have enough information to answer intelligently.
  2. I have always enjoyed business strategy. When I say "always," I really mean always. Sadly, I think I wrote my first business plan at the age of six. Although this didn't help me win any popularity contests, the fact that I have enjoyed business from such an early age, has been a strength during my professional life. I've found that a successful website has to apply the same lessons executives like Sam Walton, Ray Kroc; investors like Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch; and consultants like Peter Drucker applied. Because I have always enjoyed thinking about business, I have the same joy helping others solve their business problems.
  3. I enjoy helping others. It doesn't matter how much I think I know, or how great I think my skills are; if I'm not willing to help others, they're not going to get my best. Fortunately, I really enjoy helping others; so I try to always give my best, and I'm excited to see those I help experience business success as a result of my help. That's also why I give away as much information as I can afford, for free. Of all the strengths I could list, this has to be the most important, because again, someone can be the most knowledgeable, but if they're not willing to give freely, will you get their best?
So having stated some strengths, let me move to the less fun part, and talk about my weaknesses. Like strengths, I could list dozens of weaknesses, but I will pick just a few important points.

I would say the following are my relevant weaknesses:
  1. I like to think in the abstract and have a hard time using examples to clearly express a thought. I have noticed that I tend to look at problems and solutions from a very abstract level, but that many of the people I work with need me to provide concrete examples before they fully grasp what I'm trying to say. While abstract thinking can be a strength when discovering a solution (e.g. it allows me to ignore distracting details) at some point ideas need to be sold and this requires that my customers or colleagues completely understand what I have in mind.
  2. I don't like solving problems where success is hard to measure. If an owner or executive is facing a difficult business problem, but he doesn't really understand his goals or objective in solving that problem, I usually don't want to take the challenge on. I avoid these situations because I worry that: a) Without a clear measurable objective no solution is really going to solve the business problem. b) If it does solve the problem, the inability to measure success will make success impossible to confirm. This leads to me turning down some business, which can be frustrating, but for me it is a precaution worth taking.
  3. I don't like complicated solutions, but sometimes they are required. I like problems with simple, elegant solutions. This, for example, is why I'm a fan of the products Apple makes. Steve Jobs and Co. always seem to discover the simplest answer to a problem. I try to do the same with website strategy. Unfortunately, simple solutions are not always possible. Yet, I am very reluctant to adopt a complex solution, even when it is the best solution to a problem. This can be a challenge. Fortunately, simple solutions are the best solutions for most business problems.
I'd say the above list of strengths and weaknesses are the most relevant to my role as a web strategy consultant and website designer. Of course, I have other strengths and weaknesses totally unrelated to my role as a web strategy consultant and thus largely irrelevant.

Overall, while I may not be suited to every type of career, I believe that my strengths are a good match for a person providing consulting services, and that my weaknesses are also compatible with what is expected from a web strategy consultant and website designer.

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