I do a lot of different things: I write, I speak, I train. I design websites, brochures, and other print pieces. I organize events and promotions. I keep a home, am raising three teenagers, and lending my time and voice to the pro-medical marijuana movement. My folks’ generation referred to this as “Jack of All Trades.” It was used to describe a person who could do many things at once, but implies Jack (or Jill) does none of them well. And… I guess that makes Jack about average.
The average Jack (or Jill) doesn’t have the luxury of being a Master these days. The average Jack (or Jill) can’t get by with doing only one thing well. He has to do them ALL well, and not just well, but exceptionally well. I’ve been conditioned to believe if you’re exceptional at what you do, you are to be valued. It pays to be an expert: the more you know about a specific topic, the higher your value—and your paycheck! But I’m finding that’s not as true these days. Employees are assigned a multitude of tasks. A small business owner has to manage all areas of the business–product, service, customers, finances, taxes, industry regulations, etc… One key to success in today’s market is to do as many things possible as well as you can possibly can.
There’s no manual or on-line help forum for what’s happening now–unless you count the one being created daily by people living it. (Think Google and Wiki.) And that proves my point percisely. You must know many things, must be good at many things but you can’t wait until you “know it all” to move forward. I’m learning as I go but I don’t have time to get a Masters or to spend years “mastering” a topic, to learn how to juggle like Minnie “Boom Boom” Mahoony (pictured here). We become Masters by doing–it’s time to dive right in. My folks’ generation call it “Baptism by fire.” Learn the task as you do the task. I call it a typical day in the life of Jack and Jill of all trades.