I know it’s poor grammar, but … what are you good at?
Alonzo Decker began to think he wasn’t very good at what he did. He made these big ol’ honkin’ industrial-sized drills, the kind powerful enough to build stuff for the military during World War II. The problem was the factories kept calling for replacements. Alonzo thought he had a good product, so why were so many of them needing to be replaced?
The problem? The drills worked too well.
The women working the assembly lines fell in love with these power drills, so they would “borrow” them for the weekend to do repairs at home—and they’d forget to bring them back.
Alonzo Decker was not a failure after all. So he took what he was good at—making drills—and broadened his horizons. His company, Black and Decker, turned to the home market and released the first home power drill in 1946.
The DIY craze was launched. Here we are 70 years later, walking the tool aisle at the Home Depot, inspired to be the next Chip and Joanna Gaines all because Black & Decker made power tools handy, affordable, and …. ooo, this one has a laser guide!
Decker is a good role model for the principle: “Focus on your strengths.” Some of you might think that’s a cliché, and some will counter with their own clichés:
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- Broaden your skills and expertise.
- Work on your weaknesses.
Those are valid thoughts, but I’m convinced we can sometimes lean on those to our own detriment. Broadening your horizons and extending your reach has its limits. After all, would you want …
- … yogurt from Cosmopolitan magazine?
- … a bicycle from Smith and Wesson?
- … food from Colgate Toothpaste?
- … perfume from Harley Davidson?
All these were real products and they failed—miserably. Businesses need to know what they’re good at—and focus on being good at it.
The same goes for you. You know what you’re good at it—and if you don’t know, look at those things that drive you. Your interests. Your passions. You excel at what you’re passionate about.
God has wired you with certain gifts, abilities, and interests. Find every way you can to use those to honor Christ and serve His kingdom.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Col. 3:23).