The secret to getting better at something you dislike

Lots of times in my career, there’ve been things I’ve disliked because I’ve been bad at doing them.

At least, I thought I was bad at doing them. And we all know what sorta damage a self-dissing mindset can do.

At this point, though, I realize there is really only one choice to make whenever I catch myself feeling sucky or looking at someone else’s work and wishing mine was as good.

It’s a matter of choosing to follow the road down “Secret Path A” or “Secret Path B”.

What to do when you’re bad at something:

Path A: outsource it
You’ll never realize how bad you are at something until you hand it over to someone who’s awesome.

For instance, I really stink at creating social media content. Even the mere thought of producing and posting enough on social media to make a reasonable impact on any sort of likes or shares gives me an ulcer.

I’m a reader, researcher, and quiet explorer — and by explorer I mean within the safe confines of my office with my exploration device being my Mac.

I am not a prolific sharer.

So it’d be really awesome to outsource this work to someone who can both represent my brand well and who is dying to post stuff. While that’s going on, I’ll be over here reading some article about introverts.

Now, if you’re feeling like the task you happen to dislike isn’t “outsourceable” then you gotta suck it up and get better at it. And it’d be really nice if you could start enjoying it, too. You know, to put an end to that annoying voice of negativity in your head.

Path B: make it your personal project
I’ve always found it fascinating when people take on personal projects just for the heck of it. I’m not a “just for the heck of it” kind of gal, which is maybe why it’s so interesting to me. Most everything I do is done because there’s an end goal in mind.

But I’ve been thinking about personal projects, lately, and how they might actually have some indirect benefits. What if you took on a personal project to get better at (and actually start enjoying) that thing you loathe?
Take Theron Humphrey, for example. He was a studio fashion photographer from New York that up and quit one day to travel the world. He became masterful at iPhoneography and now has an Instagram following creeping closer and closer to 1 million followers every day.

He could probably teach a thing or two to the people at Instagram about how to master Instagram.

While you might not want to start a personal project and have it take over your life, you may end up finding unforeseen benefits. If you’re consciously choosing to keep something on your own plate, take it on yourself and have fun with it.

Now it’s your turn.

What task in your business do you hate doing? Comment in the reply section below and let me know if you think you’d be better off outsourcing it or taking it on as a personal project. Can’t wait to read about it!


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  1. Jessica Grose says

    Marketing is a weakness. More like a I dont know how. If I had the money I would consider out sourcing but on the same token I am curious enough to try it myself.

  2. says

    Great post. I quoted you (and referenced you and your blog of course) in my blog post for this week. My weakness is also marketing. I kinda dislike post processing too. Sitting down to process thousands of images from a wedding takes away from me being out there shooting so it annoys me. I’m thinking of outsourcing my post processing and making marketing my personal project this off-season.

  3. says

    This is going to sound crazy coming from a photographer … but I hate going through proofs. Well, I don’t actually hate it, I’m just very, very slow at it. I’ll take way too long going back and forth between three almost identical shots because I find it nearly impossible to be objective. And what if I eliminate the wrong one??! Those hours spent in front of the computer slogging through proofs to get them down to a manageable, deliverable number (and then uploading them to a private gallery and emailing the client with instructions, etc.) keeps me from getting out and shooting personal projects (or just shooting more clients). I’m so slow that there are times when the backlog of raw shots weighs me down emotionally and I worry about what clients will think of my turnaround time. Being honest here. I just don’t have the time or the objectivity for it, so my goal for 2016 is to find an assistant with a great eye and outsource that task to him or her …along with invoicing (which I’m also behind on) and a few other things. 🙂

  4. Sarah says

    Blogging…I have dozens of started posts and scraps of ideas but I have so much difficulty actually sitting down and attempting to write.

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