In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about why your biggest strength is your biggest weakness.

Sometimes we think we’re really good at something but then, after some evaluation, we realize that we’re not as good in that thing as we thought we were. This could be a bad thing as our belief in our capability at something can turn out to be a huge weakness for us

In this episode, Steli and Hiten share their thoughts on why our biggest strength is your biggest weakness, how Steli misses certain things about people, the importance of always trying to improve oneself and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About the topic of today’s episode

00:33 Why this topic was chosen.

01:25 Steli realizing something about himself.

02:01 How Steli misses certain things about people.

03:22 How Hiten had similar experiences with Steli

03:36 One thing that Hiten is trying to change about himself.

04:34 How we are the stories we tell ourselves.

04:58 How Hiten is not great at understanding people.

05:58 The importance of always trying to improve oneself.

05:51 A question we should always ask yourself.

3 Key Points:

  • The biggest leaps I’ve made are probably because I keep studying myself.
  • I think the big problem is that I thought about it as a strength
  • We are the stories we tell ourselves.


Steli Efti: This is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.


Steli Efti: And today on The Startup Chat, we want to talk about your strengths being your potential weaknesses. So, here’s why I want to talk to about this.


Hiten Shah: This is very relevant by the way.


Steli Efti: Oh really?


Hiten Shah: Yeah.


Steli Efti: Beautiful, beautiful. So, here’s why I wanted to talk to about this. I knew that you would enjoy, and I knew I would enjoy this conversation with you and our listeners probably too. A few weeks back I was, I had this super strong flu; I was like out, cold for two weeks, high fever, shivers, and slightly delusional. Right, slightly in the state where you’re dreaming, not fully there where you like have these kind of delusional states. Kind of fun but, not that much fun. And, one interesting thing that happened like, one night where I was sweating, and fever, and cold, and like having these weird dreams and weird thoughts; was that I had a thought, I don’t know how it happened but, I had this realization, more than a thought that you know one of the things that I’ve always thought is particular strength of mine is actually something that I am not that good at, after all. And that is, my people skills and my intuition about people. And it was very, a very original thought, something that I had never thought about before in this way. And, a realization I never had before about it and I thought “you know what its been part of your identity that you know people so well, you have, your intuition about people is so incredible and you know how to deal with people. And, there is all this shit you’re getting wrong about people. And there’s all these things where you’re not flexible about how you’d interact with people. And there’s all these things that you miss about people.” Maybe, maybe because when I was young at 18/19 there were a few years where I really studied the subject. I read all the psychology book, I study hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming, went to all these workshops, seminars and that. I accumulated all this knowledge; I did have some, I think, natural skills when it came to dealing with people. And those natural skills, with a little bit of study, gave me a little bit of success and that instantly made me think “I’m great at this so, let me move on trying to learn something else.” And became part of my identity. And what that means is that, honestly, if I look back at the last 15/20 years, the biggest learnings when it comes to dealing with people, like I didn’t learn and grow as much as I could because I was stuck in my way of thinking, “I’m great at this already.” The biggest leaps I’ve made, probably are the leaps that I’ve made because I’ve kept studying myself and learning more about me and that made me a bit more aware of other people. But, it was this really mind blowing moment where I was like ” Wow! I am a completely different person than I think I am and I have huge weakness that I’ve always thought, I’m really, really at.” So, and I think that the big problem is that I thought about it as a strength. As like this static unit; I’ve accomplished this level of ability, or skill, and boom I am done with this topic. And, I’ll walk around and it becomes part of my identity, to think I know everything about people; I’m really good at this. And so, I stop evolving and growing. Boom, I’ll stop at this rant. Strength, your biggest strength is your biggest weakness. You said it’s very relevant and I’m dying to hear your reaction, response to this.


Hiten Shah: For whatever reason, we haven’t talked about this before. You and I, or even on the podcast. And, the exact experience that you had, besides the fever and the delusional state although, delusional state I’m may have more often than not …


Steli Efti: I want to say, it’s perfect to describe this [inaudible] perspective as like, I have very similar experiences than Steli, mine is the delusional part. You like that? You like that, huh?


Hiten Shah: And then, I’m like you know the same, like literally word for word, I could’ve said what you just said.


Steli Efti: Wow!


Hiten Shah: Except the part of how you got, how you learned it. I learned it just by doing and spending so much time with people. Like accidentally almost. And I learned a lot of this accidentally like that. I’m trying to change that about myself, whatever. So, here’s the deal so, I’m not gonna get into the details of it because it’s essentially the same thing. Which is, I thought I was good at something and I’m not. I literally am objectively, when I look at it, I am not as good as I thought I was. So here’s the thing, we are the stories we tell ourselves. If we tell ourselves we’re great at something, that means we’re just great at it. If we tell ourselves we’re always getting better at it, that means we’re always getting better at it. So my story now is, anything that I feel I was great at, I am always getting better at. I am not great at understanding people; I am always, constantly, getting better at understanding people. And that shift, I am looking to internalize in myself because this is something that I do pride myself in. Just like you do. Right? There’s some pride. But we can’t pride ourselves at being great at it because, I think if we do, we get lazy and we think we’re great at it. I don’t want to be great at anything. I always want to be getting better at everything that I care about.


Steli Efti: I love it, there is nothing more to add to this. We’ll wrap this episode up right here.


Hiten Shah: Now.


Steli Efti: Use the extra six minutes, seven minutes, that we’re gifting you, of podcasting time and instead of just keep listening to next podcast take seven minutes and ask yourself “What is something I think I am great at and maybe I should be thinking about it, that is something that I constantly am getting better at.” I love that, it’s so powerful. Thank you so much.


Hiten Shah: Peace out.