The matter of the gap between “the skills you think you should have” and “the ones you already have but believe aren’t just enough” to achieve your goals


Obviously, I wish I had more respect, in a lot of ways, when I walk into a room for my opinion.”

– Lindsey Vonn, former ski racer, talking about her experience as a new entrepreneur [ 1 ]

In each of us there’s a small voice that says:

“I want more”.

More time,

more money,


in Lindsey Vonn’s case;

more credibility (in the eyes of the business people she meets).

Why is that?

Cause everyone can find an area,

in their life,

where they feel “short” on something.

“I don’t have enough time.”

“I don’t have enough education.”

“I don’t have enough experience in business, as an entrepreneur.”

“I don’t feel I’m good enough to cook this recipe.”

“I don’t feel I’m good enough to get this girl I like to be interested in me.”

“I don’t feel I’m good enough to be taken seriously when I enter a meeting.”

It’s all the more true,

when “being able to reach a goal we hold dear” is at stake.


for a time,

the reaction that we have is this :

we rise our hopes,

and focus our attention on getting the “shiny object” we believe we’re “short on”,

as a tool,

to reach our goal.

Let this tool be a “special” set of skills,

a work experience,

or a degree.

All while we,


downplay the skills or the background that we have.

As well as how useful it has been to get us where we’re at,

in our career,

for example.

Working at it,

every day,

we soon realize that going after this “shiny object” is hard.

And it takes time.


over the next few months,

we manage to learn some of the missing skills,

or complete some classes,

out of the undergrad’ program we got admitted to…

But we don’t feel things are going fast enough.

Cause we can’t even see the smallest improvement to our situation,


So we keep putting the hours,

and making the efforts.

Until comes the day where the grind starts to takes its toll on us.

And gets us to ease off,

cut corners,

and put off some of the things we find too hard to do just now.

Which doesn’t compare itself to how we did things,

when we started out chasing our goal.

Enough so that,

we reach a point where we feel like we’re running out of fuel.

Everything seems harder to do.

And we start to think “the best option” is to throw the towel,

and accept,

as a fact,

that what we wanted is just too “big” for us to make happened.

Or too “high” for us to reach.


Coco Chanel had no degree in management,

or background in textiles manufacturing.

But she had spent years making small batches of high fashion hats,

and clothes for women.

Which helped her build a team,

and a company,

that outlived her;


Steve Jobs didn’t have a degree in computer science.

But he had,


an understanding of what “good design” is about,

and a sharp set of sales skills.

Which became the assets he used to start a computer company,

with Steve Wozniak;


Madam CJ Walker didn’t have a degree in chemistry,

or a background in business management.

But she had worked as a beauty product sales person,

and knew her market well.

Which helped her launch her own beauty company,

and change the lives of thousands of women with it.

All before she became the first African American woman millionaire.

Phil Knight didn’t have a degree in industrial design,

or a background in shoe manufacturing.

But he knew how to sell snickers.

Which allowed him to build Nike with a partner;

Bill Bowerman,

who knew what runners needed,

and how to design shoes.

Richard Branson didn’t have a background in airline management.

But he had one in spotting,


and catering customers needs in other industries.

Which helped him launch one of the most beloved airlines ever;


The same kind of snapshot can be written about Elon Musk.

Or the founders of Warby Parkers,

or Spanx,

or about Gary Vaynerchuk,

and a bunch of other people.


men and women.

Famous or not.

* * *

By nature,

you and me are constantly looking for ways to make our lives better.

That’s how humans are wired.

Which explains why you and me also have this voice,

in our head,

that says:

“I want more”.

More credibility,

to get investors to say they’re “in”,

with us,

on a new business venture,

for instance.

It’s tempting,


to think that our first priority…

to achieve our goal…

should be this:

“to figure out how to get the tool that we don’t have,


in our toolbox”,

sort of speak.

But as the lives of many people…

who did succeed at making their professional lives better…


we should rather focus on being able to do the following instead:

– Ask ourselves: “What else am I able to do with ‘the skills set (or background) I already have’, that I haven’t done yet?”,

– Find the will we need to turn our answers to this question into an action plan,

– And get ourselves to work, to turn this plan into reality.

– – References – – – – – –

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