I was having lunch with a friend recently and she was telling me about a new coach she was using – for her dating life. I admit, this was the first time I’d heard of a dating coach, but the more I think about it, the more I love the concept. I fully believe in career coaching and personal training, and that doesn’t even get into the other areas of expertise I need in my life. I find value in doctors, attorneys, plumbers, landscapers, movers, designers…why would a dating coach be any different? We can all learn something from someone who has devoted their life to a specialty that’s different than ours.
I had a boss in my past who used to say “do the thing that only you can do,” and it’s a piece of advice that’s stuck with me. While I would like to think I’m well-rounded, I can’t possibly be good at everything. Or even most things. Realistically, I can discover and select a few things and do them exceptionally well and leave the rest to other folks. It relates back to the concept of spending 10,000 hours on something before we can be considered an expert at it. We can’t possibly spend 10,000 on very many things, so it only makes sense to look to the people who have spent 10,000 hours in an area where we need help.
Even if we don’t have 10,000 hours logged yet, we can still be on the lookout for the things that only we can do. At work, there may be a meeting that only I can lead. That means someone else can wrap up the report. Maybe only I can sort through and organize my closet, but maybe someone else can make the donation run afterwards. And perhaps I’m the only one who can be that shoulder to cry on and we’ll let someone else take care of dinner tonight.
What’s your thing that only you can do?