Many of us have heard of the jack of all trades who is the master of none. The idea is that this is a person who seems as if they can do anything, yet they really just dabble in the work. The main reason for this is that being a jack is much easier than being a master. The problem is that jacks rarely get paid well and that they also end up really distracted.
I do many things.
I write, speak, blog, consult, direct, produce, manage, develop, teach, and the list goes on and on. There are some things though that I have a much higher level of expertise in and some things that I have a mastery of. So I wanted to talk a little bit today about that journey from Jack to Master. Here are three things to remember.
1. If you decide that you want to specialize, the most important thing is being able to go all in. If you want to be the expert in a certain field, Malcom Gladwell has pointed out that you need to spend 10,000 hours in that particular field doing that particular skill. Many of us would prefer to try out one thing and then hop right to the next, but that is one of the things that keeps us from mastery. If your goal is mastery, there is a firm commitment that you need to make to the craft. This doesn't mean you can't do anything else, it just means that something needs to get 85% of your time and attention.
2. If you want to really become a master at something, a great way to increase your focus and develop your craft is to mentor and teach. If you take some time to show others how you do the work you do, you'll often find that you become even stronger in that work. Take the time to find others who can learn from you and listen to the questions they ask. This will make you even stronger in your craft.
3. You will most likely have moments where you will fail miserably at the work you are doing and the easiest choice will be to abandon your mastery quest. This is the difference between those who truly become masters and those who remain jacks. You have to be willing to accept failure and move on. If you do, you are well on your way to mastery.
So take some time today to look at the many things you do and ask yourself where you can be a master. Dig in. Make it happen.
The world needs you.