I really like the insights that Jonathan Fields shares at his blog. What I like more is that he went against the status quo and decided to bring the topics he is most passionate about to one place, instead of fragmenting it out on different websites. But that’s a whole other post topic.
Jonathan’s latest post, In Defense of the Pursuit of Mastery, brings up the topic of focusing on one thing and “mastering” it, or perhaps being extraordinary at one specific skill or trade instead of trying to be good at many. This is a conversation I’ve had with myself a lot lately!
If I am honest, I’ve always truly believed if a person focuses on narrowing down their options, and they become the best they can at one particular thing, then the chances of success and being known would increase exponentially. I watched this as an aspiring comic book artist as a kid. You had the well known artist like Jack Kirby or Todd McFarlane, but then you also had the colorist, letterer, penciller, and writer, who might not be widely known to the typical fourteen year old boy, but who were industry experts sought out by Marvel or DC Comics. They became the “go-to” person because they did one thing very well.
Sometimes the most difficult and painful decision can be choosing that one thing.
There are those of us who love variety and not having all of our eggs in one basket. And as Jonathan shared, the blogosphere has given us the idea of freedom through offering a cornucopia of interests to our viewers or clients. It’s taught we should weave together these baskets in order to pursue multiple revenue streams. I love the idea because I
like love change and making more money, but yet I don’t feel a cornucopia approach is a good business strategy.
Does the multi-interest business pursuit work?
Despite my stated belief on focus above, I decided to try the “multi-revenue stream” method last year. I watched from afar as other Internet Marketers or online entrepreneurs apparently did it and I figured it would work for me. It didn’t! What I discovered was that I’ve been working harder to keep multiple plates spinning (many crashing) and that my revenue streams barely trickled. When I specialized and focused on what I did best a few years ago, I worked less and made way more money.
Now I realize this may differ for you. Some people have the gift of spinning many plates without them ending up in pieces, but having observed hundreds of entrepreneurs, I’ve found it rare a person can do this with any long term effectiveness. When it did work, was when an entrepreneur became successful at one thing, and then decided to start a new idea or business.
My encouragement to you – and to myself – is that we start really focusing on one thing. Do our best at it. Become extraordinary. And eventually we will be known.