Being a “jack of all trades” gets a bad rap.
The traditional criticism is that instead of doing one thing very well, a jack of all trades does a number of things poorly. The full title in cases like this is “jack of all trades, master of none”.
I am unabashedly a jack of all trades. I’m quite proud of it, for that matter.
And I don’t think the whole “master of none” thing either applies or matters.
It’s my explicit goal in my work to be able to do every job that my business requires. Put another way, I would not hand off to someone else something that I wouldn’t feel knowledgeable of and cable of doing myself, at least to some degree.
That’s important to me for a variety of reasons. I want to understand what I’m asking people to do, or what to expect of the services I engage. I want to be able to recognize good work versus sub-par. I want to be able to step in as the ultimate safety net should something fall apart.
I am a jack of all the trades required to run my business. That does not mean I need to master them all, and it doesn’t mean I need to actually do them all, all the time.
What it allows me to do is understand my strengths and weaknesses, and make informed choices about what to hand off, and what to do myself. It allows me to knowledgeably play to my strengths. It allows me to focus on what I enjoy, and where I want to improve.
I’ll never feel like I’m a “master” of anything, no matter how good I might get. In my mind I’m always learning.
I’m quite grateful for that.