Seth wants to know why I'm a generalist. I do too.

sethgodin-specializing.jpgSeth Godin's blog post We specialize in everything makes a case for narrowed focus.  Left me with some very familiar questions, particularly in light of my return to Freelancer Land. His orthodontist illustration highlights his point nicely:

If I need braces, I can find the best orthodontist in my area. Not the second-best or someone who will try really hard or someone who is pretty good at that and also good at other things. Sure, there are occasional tasks where a diagnostician with wide-ranging experience is important (but I'd argue that that's a specialty in and of itself).

Back here at the ranch, I'm pondering a day that includes website maintenance tasks for others, continued photo work for my upcoming Etsy store, the business cards I still haven't finished designing - but almost -  and the unfinished necklace I'd like to complete before I sleep tonight. His question rings in my head: "tell me again why you're a generalist?" Don't think, Mr. Godin, that I haven't tried. But I'll try again.  For you:

  • because I have to make a living now, and I cringe to do so in endeavors that don't make my soul sing,
  • because one day I will be able to afford all those specialists who will work for me, but not yet,
  • because if I only did one type of thing all day every day, I'm afraid my head would explode,
  • because it's how my brain is wired,
  • maybe I am but just don't know it yet, and I'm winding my way closer and closer every day...

Back when I was trying to answer similar questions posed by that book Why Johnny Can't Brand which I wrote about over here, I was able to narrow my focus to "creativity" and "helping others to express themselves creatively" but it didn't go any more narrow than that.

Wondering if that's close enough? Kinda' thinkin' not. But it'll have to do for today. That list is waiting. And the Adderall might have just kicked in...