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Jack of all trades, master of none.
Fid#015: Your creative business will not thrive as a one-man show...
Have you ever met someone who seemed to know everything?
They have a say in every topic, every sphere of life to the extent that it is tolerable in conversations. However, when it comes to carrying out specific tasks, you may be sceptical about letting anyone who assumes they have all skills do some things for you. Consider going to the hospital and your doctor is an expert in every medical field. While you may value his knowledge, his competence in each becomes questionable. There is a reason for the term "specialist," and the reasons are compelling.
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The concept of jack of all trades appears in creative businesses, and most creative business people find themselves trying to do everything themselves. Finance, management, and everything in between. While this is understandable for new creative businesses, it is not satisfactory for those earning a living from their craft because the power of specialisation cannot be overstated.
Why is hiring a specialist so important in the creative industry?
The phrase "jack of all trades" refers to someone who has developed an interest in many skills rather than gaining expertise by focusing on one. This expression was originally a compliment, but after the addition of the phrase "master of none," it became an unappealing statement because it depicts incompetence. So, while the first phrase is acceptable, the addition of the second phrase may be considered inappropriate to the person being described.
However, the fundamental principle underlying Jack of all trades is that an individual is regarded as a "Generalist" rather than a “Specialist” in specific areas. Though being a generalist is not a bad thing, when running a business, you must remember that you cannot be the CEO of everything. The most successful businesses are successful not because their owners manage every aspect of the company, but because they delegate relevant positions to specialists.
Because the majority of creative businesses begin as one-man operations, transitioning to the point of allowing others to run the show is difficult but doable if you want your creative business to succeed.
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Aside from the obvious benefit of bringing in their niche specific skills, having specialists handle different aspects of your business allows you to focus on other aspects of your business. The end of some creative businesses will be when the founders can no longer run the business, which is not supposed to be the case, but in a system where every aspect has a niche specialist handling the issues that arise, the wheel of business will conveniently spin in your business. This is one of the secrets to creating long-term businesses. You can't juggle finance, PR, management, content creation, research, and so on all at the same time and expect to consistently deliver optimum results.
Some of you will cite the cost of hiring extra hands, but you don't have to hire a full team right away. Prioritising areas that require specialists and hiring gradually is a good place to start. They are tasks that can be automated or simply handled without disrupting your plans; they can wait until the business is large enough to hire extra help for them.
It's very easy to get carried away in the solo journey as a creative, but if you want to build a business that will outlive you, the journey begins now, and making sure there are existing foundations that allow the business to grow without you is critical.
Being a creator is difficult enough, but running a creative business is even more difficult, so lay back today and prepare to expand and hire more people. This plan goes beyond the present and into the future of your creative business.
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