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I sat across from my friend at the trendy hipster coffee shop with white subway tile walls and blonde wood craftsman tables. I had just vented about being exhausted from working so. damn. hard. all the time. The treadmill was going round and round and I was at its mercy, juggling everything from finances to implementing new processes.
“Veronica,” he said, “There are Doers, and there are Dreamers. You need to decide which you are, and play to those strengths. Find help for the rest.”
I looked at him with my ‘what do you mean I can’t do everything?’ look. My ideas were mine, my business was mine, my clients were mine. I’d done it all myself and was damn proud.
And damn exhausted.
I’ve thought a lot about what he said since that day. Turns out, he was right. This is what I’ve learned since.
I’m a Dreamer. A big ideas person. I want to create and then run with new projects, events, and goals without checking myself. When I presented a new event idea to the board I serve on, they were stoked, but then began asking questions like “what is the budget?”, “which demographics should we target?”, and “how can we front load the attendees so they know what to expect?” I didn’t have answers. I’d done the biggest part — the creation part — and stopped.
On the flip side, my friend is extremely task oriented. She loves systems. She would rather stay in the office and make sure all boxes are checked and all ducks are in a row than go meet clients. She guides her team like a rock star, and everything gets done on time. She is a Doer.
Doers and Dreamers are both critical to the success of a project, event, or business. But you MUST know which you are so you can find your opposite to fill in the gaps. You don’t have to hire someone full time or find a cofounder, but you will need someone. Dreamers may find help from a Virtual Assistant (my favorite being Fancy Hands) especially useful. Doers — you may need to find a mentor who can help you ideate when it’s time to pivot or shift your work.
It is important to note that, like everything, this is a spectrum. For example, I enjoy creating systems — just not running them. Conversely, I’ve seen some Doers come up with amazing ideas for solving problems.