I don’t think the idea of well-rounded works as well as we used to romanticize. It’s better to be sharp and focused on a craft. In this way, you separate yourself from the noise of mediocrity. The world is breaking into silos of expertise and we are looking for people that stand out more than ever. This is the natural outcome of infinite distribution and access. When you can buy what you want without having to go to a store, then you can choose very specifically and for the best.
Isn’t that what we want? Someone or something specific for our problem that is the very best? The more acute and painful the problem, the less we want to mess with someone who is merely well-rounded. We want to see how sharp they are.
In the service economy, my encouragement to others, as well as my own personal pursuit, is to focus and develop deep mastery while watching for the changing tides of demand. The offering might shift and have to be repackaged, but the depth of insight, work and problem-solving are part of the ongoing commitment.
I guess, if I had to put it in a word, commitment is the thing that has to be there for mastery. It is not dabbling and spreading your bets. That merely dilutes your focus and prevents you from truly developing a deep craft. No, it is the commitment to delve into complexity and make your solutions simple. This is what the world pays for.
The entrepreneurial journey can have a lot of meandering pathways and enticements. I like the discovery process and learning all the interrelated parts. But the core of mastering something so that you can be useful and special means focusing without distractions. I am not sure there is an alternative path if you want to grow something meaningful.
Stay sharp and round off the edges.
What are you committed to being world-class at?