The ‘Jack-of-all-trade’ Mentality

Business and Enterprise

The ‘Jack-of-all-trade’ Mentality

In the past, this term “jack of all trades” was used to describe individuals who are skilful at so many things. It glorified their characteristic versatility which translates to the ability to provide solution across multiple fields, and this is why they may fit into the frame of a practical polymath. 

However, as times change, terms also change in meaning.  Then “jack of all trade” became a sarcastic expression made more explicit with the addition of “master of none”, implying that such persons have hands on many things but are competent at none.  This additional coinage is inspired by the inefficiency that trails the works of people who hurry into different trades either serially or simultaneously for money without possessing the mastery that put them on the side of merit. 

However, this should not deter the original quality of the genuine ones which is best explained in a sequence:  Curiosity 🡪 Adventures 🡪 Versatility. 

In the business world, those with this quality are called serial entrepreneurs. They are armed with exceptional creativity to come up with ideas and the will to transform them into profitable ventures. 

Their ideas may span beyond their core area of specialization, but the fact that they could conceive in different fields is proof that they know something about everything. Does this make them a jack and no master? Not when you don’t have to be the one running the technical aspect of the business. Your job as an entrepreneur is to put all resources together, in a coordinated and synergized manner, and that includes human resources.

 In business, you need not be the expert if you can employ someone who is. But if you can’t afford the cost of hiring either on freelance or fulltime basis, then you have to learn and master all you need to. The idea is to apply mastery, whether by yourself, or through someone else. Either ways, you are running the business effectively by delivering on the promise, which makes you the master in the long run. 

Sadly, some business owners commit the blunder of exerting positional authority in ways that jettison the efforts of workers who have the technical authority. You are the master of the business, not the master of the needed skills that you don’t have. What you need to ensure is that all the areas of expertise are gearing towards achieving the goals of you business. This is why you employ supervisors, human resource persons and department heads; depending on the size of your business. 

So, you see, you can be jack of as many trades as you want by conceptualizing business ideas. But be the master too by nurturing them to success. The way to go is acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses. Where your weaknesses lie, make up for it by either learning hard, or hiring the best hands. 

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