Be Great or Be Nothing. Somewhere in the Middle Does Not Exist.

Powerful thought, isn’t it?

Growing up in a small town and attending a small school made me a jack of all trades but a master of none. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered this philosophy. Be great or be nothing.

What does this mean anyway?

Today’s society is made up of much-skilled labor. People go to school. They get a specific education and then they apply for a specific job. Hockey players try to compete in the NHL. Carpenters build houses. You get the point.

However, there is a large portion of the population today that are neither chocolate or vanilla. They are a soft swirl cone or a mixed bag of skills and specialties.

Some NHLers are also writers, some carpenters also specialize microbrewing.

Both are fine. Just like both types of ice cream are fine.

As long as you are the best kind of ice cream.

Having more than one specialty is doable. That just means you need to work harder to remain the top of your field within that area of expertise or skill. If you can master one skill or two skill areas you are able to stay the best at; you will become great.

The inverse is to be nothing.

This may seem brash but let’s be honest; no one wants a melted cone of soft-serve ice cream. No one cares about how many processes the ice cream machine goes through because they only care about the quality product they receive from the machine. Long story short, the customer does not care about a middle product or about the middle processes. They only care about the quality of the ice cream.

The machine does its one job. Making ice cream. If the machine were able to do ten jobs in addition to making ice cream would it be nice? Sure. Would it be the best at only making ice cream? Probably not.

In life, if you can position yourself to be the best in one or two areas you will find yourself in a great position to bring a ton of leadership and authenticity to a position and really; to your life.

. . .

My encouragement for you today is to get clear and concise on what you are skilled at or to evaluate what area(s) you wish to be skilled at. This will allow you to develop a clear path way to the life you want. Will you be chocolate or will you be vanilla? Or will you be a high quality swirl cone?

The choice is yours.

. . .

We live in a complex yet simple time. We can become anything. We can shoot for the stars. This ability to have ample opportunity is both rewarding and overwhelming. So, if you can get clear on which form of ice cream you wish to be and you are on your way to becoming and remaining the best in your skill area(s).

This post was previously published on Medium and is republished here with permission from the author.


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