Do you want to be a Generalist or a Specialist? Not since the days of debating the Chicken and Egg have people struggled with what steps to take first in order to develop a successful career.
“People may be confused by how he means to specialize. To specialize doesn’t mean going into one thing and ignoring everything else. That actually would be pretty much impossible. Could you imagine if all typography was black and white because no one who knows typography knows good color theory? Your niche is like a tree. People are looking for that great big oak! But you need roots to support that tree. And if those roots are big and strong it can even be a selling point for the tree. Have you ever went “Wow this tree has some cool looking roots. All twisty and woven together.”
“This is really interesting. I am 100% sold on niching, I think it’s inevitable if you want to build a sustainable business. But I’ve never seen the external/internal comparison before. This should totally put to bed the concerns people have about niching down. Stay curious and try new things, but only sell the ONE thing. Use all your learnings on the stuff you do behind the scenes to make the ONE thing even better. Very inspiring!”
“I really wish I heard this advice about 25 years ago when I finished my first degree in engineering. I was too afraid to specialize further and I ended up generalizing more. Asa result, my degree ended up failing to produce meaningful results. I would have also had time to spend on other interests. So I’m middle age now, doesn’t mean I can’t apply this information now. I always thought keeping my options open was a good idea and to some degree it is but there’s a point where you have to put limits on it. I had no limits. There’s a Russian proverb, ‘Chase two rabbits and you’ll go hungry.'”