Being a jack of all trades wasn't always a good thing. In fact, if you take the time to finish the quote, it sounds decidedly less complimentary: “a jack of all trades and a master of none.” Ouch, that one has got to hurt. However, in the current entrepreneurial ecosystem, versatility could be the difference maker when it comes to building your business.
While being a specialist can get you a bigger pay check, having a vast array of skills, experiences, and abilities can help facilitate entrepreneurial success. This versatility will not only allow you to better determine the value of partnerships, employees, and even capital, it will also give you the insight you need into every aspect of your burgeoning business. And if you think a specific college major or online class has pigeon-holed you, think again.
“Smart businesspeople know that someone’s skills, and the ability to look beyond the conventional wisdom and innovate, is far more important than any degree or title or fancy business card,” said Lauren Maillian Bias, the founder and CEO of LMB Group in her new book.
So what does being versatile mean in business? Well, unsurprisingly, versatility takes a lot of forms when you're running a startup. Whether it's being a clear and efficient communicator, possessing the ability to self-motivate, or being reliable, you need to make this expansive skill set a priority if you really want to make a difference.
This versatility trend in business is becoming more and more apparent as time goes on. While words like ‘innovation' and ‘uniqueness' used to be merely whispered in creative departments of smaller companies, they're now prominently featured all around the world of business. And if you don't believe us, take a look at some high-profile job applications.
“The largest Fortune 500 companies today are including words like ‘creative,' ‘innovative,' and ‘entrepreneurial' in their position descriptions and job postings,” said Bias. “For these large companies, this is something new.”
As far as how to be more versatile, an open mind can go a long way. Don't write off experiences because they don't fall within your niche. You never know what class, person, or trip could be the jumping off point for your success. So keep your options open, because success could be right around the corner.
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