Make sure all your gaps are filled

The staff of a restaurant operate in what looks like organized chaos. Everybody runs around the place like they’re going to run into one another at any time. Hostess, manager, bartender, they all have their job. If you went to a restaurant with a bar but no bartender, you’d die of dehydration before you get your Bloody Mary. That’s because the bartender has a set of skills that fills a role. Non any employee can fill that role. Even if one of them went to school, they might not have the temperament to be a bartender. Having a full bar requires a bartender that is good at his/her job.

If you think of yourself as a restaurant, you have many stations to fill. Chef, busboy, waiter, all these positions need to be filled with the right people. And as the owner, it’s your responsibility to do so. Also part of your duties as a manager is bring up areas that have deficiencies. You have to look at all your stations and let people go or fill positions ASAP.

It’s important to sit down with yourself and take an inventory of all the areas in your life. What areas are you lacking in? What areas are you completely deficient in? What are your strong points? You can then start filling these areas with knowledge. When you do this you get more efficient at other things and can build on what you’ve done.

A lot of people think that there’s a time limit on learning. They feel like once they get a certain age that they have filled all the spots in their “restaurant”. It turns out that they’re only serving breakfast with a skeleton crew when they’re set up to be a 24hr fine dining establishment. Fill your toolbox with as many skills as you can. There really is no limit to what you can learn. The only thing holding you back is time and effort.

Think of the person that you want to be and plan out what you have to do. You don’t have to fill all your spots at the same time. Make sure that you fill them properly before moving on to the next thing. Taking a methodical approach to this makes it easier and helps you stay organized. In the end you’ll be you’ll be running like a swiss watch.

Make sure you’re set up for success.

If you’re like me, you’re a jack of all trades but a master of none. Most of us a dabblers. We like to try a lot of different things until we find out that we don’t like them as much as we thought or get bored. How much time have we wasted during that time? How much money have we wasted on things we don’t like. What kind of person could we have been if we would have stuck to one of these things a little longer?

Hopping around from thing to thing is a bad habit that i’m trying to break. I never give myself enough time to become good at something before I move on to something else. As I write this, I have found out why. I player soccer from the time I was 8 years old until I was 31. I played as competitively as I could for all those years. I watched every game I could. I coached and refereed. Soccer was life. When my daughter was born (she’s now 9) I quit cold turkey. From one day to the next i was no longer as interested in soccer as I once was. It was such a large part of my life that I had to stop to make room for something more important. Since then I’ve been trying to find something to fill the void that was left and have never been able to find anything.

This might sound off topic but it’s important that I get this out and on paper/audio. The reason that I jump from thing to thing is that NOTHING will ever be as important to me as soccer. If I compare everything to soccer, nothing will ever come close. So I guess the big take away from this is that you should never try and replace some things. You should accept that you have to try and find something different for its own reason.

So if you’ve found something that you want to invest time into, do it. Find a place or a person that can teach you something new about it. Get yourself a mentor. That way you can become proficient enough at it so that you can benefit from doing it. Sometimes we waste our time beating out head into the wall trying to get better at something. We don’t understand that we do not have the skill level needed to get over the next hump. We need someone that’s been down that road before to help push us over.

Now you can find classes and conferences for just about anything. Invest in yourself and make sure you’re set up for success. Weather it’s a skill needed for work or one needed for recreation, being as good as you can be at something might amplify other things in your life.