We’ve all heard the quote, “jack of all trades, master of none”. Essentially, it’s supposed to be a compliment recognizing someone is good at a lot of different things. Oddly, I have most often found it used as more of a put down to people who do lots of different things, instead of just focusing on one particular thing. Based on that quote, I’ve always been under the impression that being able to do lots of different things is somehow, incomprehensive to me, a bad thing. Seriously, it’s just never made sense.
I’m a farm kid, so for me, being able to do stuff is expected. I have always surrounded myself with people, especially women, who are extremely capable. Several of my girlfriends work in career fields dominated by men; construction, electrical, appliances, and carpentry to name a few. I have a Mom that could raise kids, keep a house, tend a huge family feeding garden, preserve the harvest, drive a tractor, run machinery, milk cows, all while managing the books of a small farm business. Oh, she also volunteered at our local Catholic school one morning a week and participated in numerous church and community volunteer functions. If I have moments of feeling lazy, it’s because I was raised by this hard-working woman.
With all this said, I have so many female clients sit in front of me and feel like misfits because they have burning desires to run their own business or businesses doing one, or usually multiple different things. A little of this, a little of that. I’ve coached many women through the process of “working their way out of a job and into a business” over the last several years, and it makes me absolutely giddy each time someone accomplishes their dream. I love people, not just women, who have a desire to live creatively; doing things they love, as a way of making a living.
The world does not always smile on these people. We are surrounded by a culture of conventionalism. The belief systems that surround us often tell us stories like, “you have to go to school, get good grades, get a good job with a good company and be good at it so they never fire you”. We tell the dreamers and the innate doers they will never succeed because they’re not doing it the way it’s always been done. We teach people to impress the boss, not be the boss.
I remember sitting with a client of mine a number of years ago, and she asked me “if you could do anything in the world, what would you do”? My response was simple; I want to be an intuitive coach/writer/speaker/organic gluten-free baker running a farm-style Bed and Breakfast. Simple. I have always known what I love to do. She looked at me and laughed. “Anne. You can’t do that! You’d have like five careers!”
Yup. What on earth is wrong with having multiple streams of income?! Why can’t we have a job, and what Rachel Hollis refers to as a side hustle?
If you have the vision, the work ethic and the ability to do multiple things, then I say, do it! Do it all!
Here’s the dish. That quote has always been used to limit those of us who are too creative, too innovative, too unwilling to give up on our dreams of a super cool life, is only half stated! That’s right! There is an entire second sentence to that quote and it goes like this.
“Jack of all trades, master of none. But oftentimes better than a master of one”. Robert Greene, said to be the originator of the idiom, knew something many folks have yet to learn and understand. Jack, or Jane, should not be limited by those around them. It is far too easy to fall prey to the common way of doing life with each person getting one job assignment. Honestly, those days are so long gone. The average American changes jobs on average, every seven years. Most of us in this country will go through three major career changes in our lives. To this, I say bring it on! We need everyone, that’s the gift of the situation. As our culture becomes more diverse, as we have more discretionary income, we are more often paying people to do things that we used to do for ourselves. This means we need more people willing to do more things, to develop and fill more niche markets and get more specific and creative in what they’re doing, and how they’re uniquely doing it. Folks, there is truly enough for all of us.
Is having a great side hustle your dream? Or running one or a couple of small businesses? Turning one small into one large? There are so many options! If you can see it, you can be it. It’s a new year and a new decade, let’s get to it. Dreamers unite! So often all it takes is someone to tell us we can.
Do I own my farm style B and B yet? No, but I’m not done yet, and there are some other possibilities that sound like just as much fun. Who knows where we’ll all end up, and what is possible for us. This is why getting up in the morning is so exciting! Our story isn’t finished, we are still in a place of potential.
What’s your dream?
Remember the last part of the famous quote, it’s the most important: “oftentimes better than a master of one”.
Blessings Galore, Anne
PS: If you’ve got a creative vision and need some help developing it, or a boost in the “how do I get there” department. Let me know. It makes me giddy!