My Top Three Skills
Updated: Jul 13, 2019
Reflecting on what your best skills are is an excellent exercise for getting to know your strengths, and enhance them for being an asset to any company. In Praxis, we were asked to write a post about our top three skills; and after analyzing all the abilities that I have put in practice during the last years, I found out that the following are the most remarkable ones:
I am a very recursive person, and I demonstrated this skill when designing products for Childbox; an educational subscription box for kids that I co-founded. Every month, I had to think of themes for our boxes, design art projects, and find science experiments related to the same subject. Additionally, I was in charge of writing storybooks about the theme of that month box. It was a highly demanding job, but I enjoyed taking the materials that we had in our workshop, analyzing their characteristics, and identifying ways in which kids could use them for creating awesome things. The reward was to hear positive feedback from parents saying that their kids loved and felt proud of their creations.
I consider myself a great communicator. I love to use my texts for empowering young people to do what makes them happy in life. I am good at writing storybooks that inspire kids to discover their dreams and talents. Additionally, I know how to use my communication skills for giving solutions to problems that companies might face. I proved that time and again at Childbox.
There was a lithography company that printed all our books. We started to have obstacles when they called us to say that our products were not going to be ready on time for some promotional events that we had. We needed to work with them because they were the only company in the city that printed small amounts of products. All the other lithography companies did not want to lithograph less than 2,000 books, and at that moment, we were selling just 150 boxes per event.
That situation was a big deal for us because we had already sold the tickets for the events, and we had confirmed the days with the owners of the shopping center where we were going to have them. There was no way we could change the dates and I believed that there must be a solution. I went to the suppliers’ factory to talk personally with the person in charge of our situation. She explained to me that for them, having a small production like ours was not as profitable as more significant productions from other companies that paid them more. For that reason, they needed to give priority to bigger customers, and then they would print our books.
I understood the situation, but after talking for some minutes, I could close a deal with them. They would print us a broader amount of products, and they would keep it in stock for us. Because we were a small company and we did not have the money to pay for such a big production immediately, they agreed that we would pay 50% initially. As we had more events and sold products, they would give us the books that we needed, and we would provide them with the fee of just that number of books each time until we completed the payment of the other 50%.
Because the books were in stock in advance, they were ready when we needed them. In that way, we could continue having our events, and the lithography company made a good amount of money. I knew that they did not do those types of deals with all their customers, but they did it with our company because of the excellent communication that I had with them and because of the trust that we created.
I love to get work done. When I need to accomplish a goal or work on a project, I am always willing to do everything I can to succeed at it.
When we first created our startup, my partners and I lived in different cities, and at that point, we did not have any employees. Because we had our office in my apartment, nobody else could do physical work apart from me. I had to walk around the city looking for high-quality materials at reasonable prices that the kids could use for their experiments and projects. I also had no problem at all with packing more than 100 boxes by myself and sending them to customers, even if that meant I had to work on Sundays and very late in the evenings.
I specifically remember one time when I received a phone call from a customer; he was an older man that lived in Lima, Perú. His grandson from Bogota wanted as a Christmas gift a helicopter that we designed. I told him that at that point all the boxes of helicopters were sold out, but he explained that the boy wanted that gift initially for his birthday and the man could not buy it in that date; now he had promised to give it to him for Christmas day.
I noticed how important that was for the man, so I checked in our office, and I saw that there were an extra helicopter and materials; so I told him not to be worried and that I would send it to his grandson. As I was packing the product, I noticed that there were not more motors for the toy, so I went to our motor supplier store. There, I found out that they did not have more engines either! They would get more in three days, but I had a limited amount of time for sending the gift so that the kid could receive it on the date expected.
I felt like I was Santa Claus, sending that box was the most critical job in the planet at that moment. I went to five different stores from one side of the city to the other until I found the tiny motor with the same specifications of ours. The next day I wrapped the gift carefully and sent it to the boy. I think that I was more excited than both the boy and the grandpa for them to receive our product.
When someone gives me a task to do, I do not rest until I make sure that I finish it in the best way possible. For me, one happy customer is as important as hundreds of customers; all of them deserve to receive excellent services and products. If it is on my hands to make that happen, then I certainly will.
Identifying which skills we need to use in specific situations help us to improve our work and become better individuals. Once you use expertise for solving a problem in an area of your life, you can also apply the same principles in other areas. But before that, you need to start by analyzing what you are best at, and how you have used that for succeeding at something or for solving an issue in your life or in the lives of people around you. I highly encourage you to do this same exercise and start writing about the best skills that you own.