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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about your level of incompetence.

Sometimes, situations arise when you are unable to handle a situation properly. This could be because you don’t have the skill sets to handle that situation or you’re unable to figure out how to handle said situation.

In today’s episode, Steli and Hiten share their thoughts on what being incompetent means, why it’s important to figure out what’s causing you to be incompetent at managing a situation, how to deal with situations you feel incompetent about and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic.

00:29 Why this topic was chosen.

02:53 The definition of incompetence.

03:30 How you can be incompetent at one thing but competent at other things.

04:30 Why it’s important to figure out what to do when feeling incompetent at something.

06:00 An example of what incompetence can lead to.

07:31 How to deal with situations you feel incompetent about.

08:31 How not knowing how to manage people is a huge level of incompetence.

09:06 Sometimes, what’s causing you to be incompetent at something is not so obvious.

09:32 How to get better at realizing hidden incompetencies.

3 Key Points:

I'm not incompetent at reading code, I’m incompetent at writing code

A lot of us have strategies of what to do when we hit that level of incompetence.

The key is to figure out what’s causing you to be incompetent



Steli Efti: Hey everybody. This is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And, this is Hiten Shah.



Steli Efti: On today's episode of The Startup Chat, we're going to talk about your level of incompetence. Here's why I want to talk about this. The framing of this is really what I want to talk about, which I thought was super interesting. Just recently, I was in a conversation about getting COs on the phone, cold calling, selling to really kind of high-end demand professionals and how difficult that is. One person said something that stood out to me, which was that when you talk to, when you reach ... He was saying the people that he's trying to reach and sell to, he usually does not have a hard time once he gets them on the phone to get their attention and to get time from them. Because he was like, the people that he's talking to, they're operating at a level of competence where they have time. He's like, "If I ever talk to somebody that doesn't have a few minutes to talk because they're so quote unquote busy, to me that just means they're now operating at a level of incompetence that creates busyness for them. Right? That creates stress busyness." That framing was really interesting. That's something that I wanted to talk to you a little bit about, which is the idea that whenever things are getting overwhelming, whenever things are getting incredibly stressful, whenever you are quote unquote busy. "I'm so busy right now" or "Things are so busy, I'm so under pressure, have so much stress, there's so much overwhelming, there's just too many projects, too much stuff going on." When things become really, really difficult and friction-full, maybe you just now hit a level of your incompetence. Now you're operating at a level that's much higher than what your competence level is, so things are not quite simple and easy for you to do. Now things are overwhelming, difficult, stressful for you to do. Thinking about stressful and busy times as times where you hit a level of incompetence was a way of thinking about it or framing it, especially the incompetence part that I was thought was interesting. I don't know quite what it is, but there's something in that topic. There was something in that framing, in that word, that made me go, huh, I want to bring this up to Hiten and see if we can dissect this word and see where it leads us to.

Key points in this episode

Key Highlights

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