Make Your Weakness Your Biggest Strength

Teaching Chinese
Teaching Chinese

When I started teaching Chinese, I was immediately different from competing products, because (spoiler alert) I’m not Chinese!  Who would want to learn Chinese from a non native Chinese speaker?

Instead of focusing on that as my weakness, I made it my strength.  I told potential students (truthfully) that I was just like them.  I had struggled like them to learn Chinese.  I had tried all the ways that didn’t work.  Then, since I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I created my own teaching system.  I designed it to overcome the battle that other students like me had to go through.  How would those experts out there know what we were going through?

Now of course I did have real experts to back me up.  I was in Taiwan, enrolled at a university, so I had access to native Chinese teachers.  The content was good.  But I was the one who was teaching it.  And instead of shying away from the fact that I wasn’t a native Chinese speaker, I actively promoted that as being my strength.

Is there a perceived weakness you have, that could be turned into a strength?  Is there a way to turn the tables on others, so that suddenly you’re the one on top?