Jack of All Trades are More Likely to Become Successful than Specialists
Specialist or Polymath, Which one is Better for My Success? This post got the perfect answer for you.
I remember back then, when I was still in the university, Elem Kuti called me to advise me on becoming an expert in one thing instead of being the one doing everything in the GT Labels (the first businesses I started back in 2012 which I have exited), Kuti saw that I was the one that does the graphics designs for all our programs, handles the printing, organize the venue and still climb the stage as performing dance artist in our shows.
Of a truth, that was very tiring and much work on me but then, I was enjoying it.
Little did I know, those things were good for my well-being today.
Kuti was one of the best graphics designers I have ever met all my life and till date, I still trust he is one of the best guys in graphics design.
The spontaneous response of “THAT WON’T BE POSSIBLE AND WILL MAKE ME SICK” I gave him when he asked me to leave every other thing and focus on graphics design still amazes me.
With that all being said, I think being everywhere is very good to some extent.
My final take will be at the end of this post.
Firstly, Who is a Polymath?
A polymath is someone who is good and averagely competent in three or more industries/topics and can comfortably integrate all his knowledge in one place to provide a solution.
Polymaths bring different industries all together in one platform.
I read an article that says “People Who Have “Too Many Interests” Are More Likely To Be Successful According To Research” by Michael Simmons on Medium, do check it out here.
In our modern day world, most of the men who built the world’s largest companies are all Polymaths ranging from Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos Steve Job, Larry page, Richard Branson, Carlos Slim, Mark Zuckerberg and currently Elon Musk.
For the modern-day Polymath in the real business scene, Educator Ernest Boyer said “The future belongs to the integrators.”
This brings me to the case of Elon Musk who has combined a very good understanding of physics, engineering, programming, design, manufacturing, and business to create several multibillion-dollar companies in completely different fields. He not only makes a typical combination of skills, he also makes a typical combination of personality traits in all his dealings.
Today he is such a normal guy, another day he’s a crazy dude in a different school of thought.
Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, one of the most popular comic strips of all time, who wasn’t the funniest person in the world, already wrote a blog post on how he did it and how you can too:
In the blog post, below are some of the notable things you need to know
“If you want something extraordinary [in life], you have two paths:
- Become the best at one specific thing.
- Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.
The first strategy is difficult to the point of near impossibility. Few people will ever play in the NBA or make a platinum album. I don’t recommend anyone even try.
The second strategy is fairly easy. Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort. In my case, I can draw better than most people, but I’m hardly an artist. And I’m not any funnier than the average standup comedian who never makes it big, but I’m funnier than most people. The magic is that few people can draw well and write jokes. It’s the combination of the two that makes what I do so rare. And when you add in my business background, suddenly I had a topic that few cartoonists could hope to understand without living it”.
In all of these, I think there are two sides to this argument.
Will being an expert make me more successful or have a knowledge of everything?
Here is my honest take on being a Specialist;
- Become a specialist if you want to build a personal brand or want to be seen as an expert in a particular thing.
- Become a specialist if you want to become a highly held and well-respected employee.
- Become a specialist if you want to become an authority in a particular thing.
- Become a specialist if you solve a particular problem.
Here is my honest take on being a Polymath;
- Become a polymath if you want to build a large business ecosystem that involves different industries like Elon Musk is doing.
- Become a polymath if you want to become a good CEO.
- Become a polymath if you have eyes on leading a large organization.
- Become a polymath if your emotional intelligence is great.
- It’s possible you’re a polymath if you easily get bored on doing one thing all the time and love venturing into new businesses.
- Because many of the largest problems that face society and individuals benefit from solutions that integrate multiple disciplines, so, you’re likely to become a polymath if you’re up to solve many societal problems.
To wrap it up, I think the idea of Jack of all trades, master of none is better for me because I’m building a business ecosystem that is diverse and involves different industries which knowing just one thing definitely won’t do it for me.
On our platform at (Sumo Tech Global and Gudtalent & Co), we are merging Modern banking systems on Sumobank to help Entrepreneurs manage finances better while learning how to build successful small to medium scale businesses at Entrepreneur Platform Academy where those who can’t run a separate entity can become business owners on Maxibu. Logistics, welfare and miscellaneous will be vetted on GT Fare. Food processing and Agriculture with Manufacturing are not left behind as it will help us in production, which will have a touch with the things we do at our Academy…
Even the academic scheme supports the concept of polymath by reflex. This is why you will score a higher mark in your project topic if you have many references and citations of resources to back up your point.
Wikipedia as the largest information website in the world is also using the concept of different views in their reference pages to support all the materials approved on the website which you and I trust so much.
At the same time, “Jack of all trades, master of none is bad for anyone who is building an influential personal brand.
Another Angle to being a polymath is that it’s bad for you in the society if you cannot merge different ideas/solutions/thoughts/concept to solve a real-world problem because you are not an expert in the things you know and as such, no one or establishment will take you serious about helping their platform grow. So the specialist will become more successful than you as a polymath if you cannot manage and implement all the things you know.
How to Become a Modern Polymath?
this is quite overwhelming and looking tough, but I don’t really think it is. so
- How and where do you start?
- How do you find the time to become a polymath?
- What field do you learn first?
- How do you translate what you learn into real-world value as a polymath?
I have put a guide on how to become a modern-day polymath Here.