"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
Throughout my life I've been told - and probably so have you - that you need to pick one thing to endure for the rest of your life. I'm not talking about marriage - I'm talking about your career. It starts right out of highschool - and you're forced with a decision of which degree to go for. Even as blogs we're told to focus on one topic / one idea. I never liked that. I understand why they tell you to do it - so your readers and I guess future peers understand what you're doing, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. For me - I couldn't decide my future straight out of high school at 18 like everyone else. I had three colleges in mind each focusing on a different creative medium - music, film, and design. I wanted to be an artist - and I didn't care which one I learned first, because I had my mind made up that I was going to learn all of them. But for the sake of settling - I ended up choosing music (specifically guitar) for one year, then decided school was not for me. It wasn't that I didn't like music school or what school I chose in particular - it was honestly hard for me to focus on one pursuit. I didn't want to become a guitar hero - I honestly just wanted to be in a band - and at that time of my life - the idea of being in a successful band trumped the other passions I had. Since then I've gone on to learn about all three, and become pretty proficient in each and have even been able to be in a band that allowed me to travel the world for a bit. I'm no master at anything by any means, but I think that's the beauty of it. I don't believe in having my identity defined by one skillset.
Recently I was listening to The Tim Ferriss podcast* (specifically Ep. 19) where I got the quote above from. In the short podcast he talks about the phrase "Jack Of All Trades - Master Of None." Meaning you can dip your hand in a lot of skills - but never become a master in any of them. While there may be some truth in that statement - he believes it's an "artificial pairing" because people confuse mastering a skill with perfecting one, and that's not we're talking about. If you want to perfect a skill - go the Malcolm Gladwell way anddedicate 10,000 hours to it. Don't let me stop you. What we're talking about here is having a "diversity of intellectual playgrounds." There are many worlds to conquer out there - why should we just settle for one? I believe that we should all learn all that we can. It just makes sense to me. Languages (programming and foreign), an instrument, a certain software, gardening, etc...the list goes on. I have so many endeavours that I haven't even started to dive into about 90% of them - and each time I begin to brush the surface I'm excited about learning. I don't want to wear one hat...I want to wear them all. I like the idea of being the guy who has retained a bunch of knowledge and who can help people out on certain projects regarding what I've learned.
With so many new things you want to learn...where do you start?
That's the crossroads we all come to - where to begin? I honestly haven't found a good solution to this yet...what I've done so far is just woken up and seen which way I should lean that particular day. Somedays it's towards design, others writing, programming, or even marketing - there's no specific algorithm to learning that I've found that works for me yet. This can be a good thing and a bad thing for me. Good as in it can lead me to learn a lot of knowledge; Bad as I'm never able to focus on one thing long enough to learn it. I've heard of people scheduling out their day with what they want to work on. Kyle and I were actually talking about a new startup that does this...they wake up at 8am / workout and eat breakfast - then code for a few hours - then read a book...I honestly can't remember what they did, but I know that scheduling out my day never works. For one - what if I wake up late? Then my whole day is ruined. What if I don't feel motivated to work on that specific task at that time? I'm not one for being put in boxes.
What has worked for me so far?
There are a few resources that have helped me on not settling for one thing. These don't give you a guideline of what to do - instead they show you how to do it. Here are just a couple of the online sites I have used profusely on my journey of gaining knowledge...
I still remember my first introduction into Skillshare - One of my favorite artists Jon Contino facebooked that he was teaching a class about creating logos - so I had to look into it. I think at that time it was $20 or something like that. Totally worth it to learn from a huge inspiration to me. Since then - it's gone to a month-b-month membership plan - which saves me money. If you don't know what Skillshare is - it's a pretty simple business plan...Get big names to teach classes - get people to sign up for said classes. So far I've learned design from Aaron Draplin, DKNG, and Kyle Steed - business from Seth Godin and Jeff Staple - and a bunch of other things from a few big names. If you have the hunger to learn new things and have a few bucks lying around every month - use this as a starting point. The teachers really make the class - and can give you insight into your favorite's process.
Yea, I know...YouTube's not really a super secret resource...but honestly it's a huge one. A lot of people don't think about watching tutorial videos on here, but yet - there our thousands - maybe
millions of uploaded videos begging to be watched. For me - I mostly use it for Photoshop and Ableton tutorials. There are ton's of people who spill their whole process out to the camera just to get views. They may not be well known names - but if you stumble on the right video - it could save you ton's of time in the long run.
Hopefully this gets you inspired to begin the journey with us into learning and becoming better entrepreneurs and human beings.
Please feel free to email me if you have any question, comments, or concerns on anything you see on this site...