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Don’t Be A Generalist (Unless That’s You!)

The problem with rules is that sometimes we believe them.

I’m not talking about functional and important rules, like the Laws of the Air (pilots know what I’m talking about), traffic rules, or basic rules of social engagement (smile, shake hands, pay attention to others when they speak.)

What I’m talking about are other rules.

The kinds of rules that people sometimes state out loud with confidence, like, “Don’t be a generalist.”

“Specialize,” they say. “The entire world is not your customer. You must serve your tribe.”

You see, the danger with buying into rules and advice of that nature is that we can forget to think for ourselves.

It can be tempting to allow others to do our thinking for us, because thinking is hard and many times we make mistakes.

However, when we do think, and in particular about the rule of not being a generalist, we may find that there is some nuance.

I’m speaking for myself now, and you can do the same if you want.

I’m a writer. There are billions of people who can write, and probably hundreds of thousands or even millions who call themselves writers.

I like to write stories.

If you were to look at that statement and call it a business plan, you’d say I was an idiot. You wouldn’t be far off.

Now, being a writer who likes to tell stories is not a business plan. It’s not even a good way to stand out as a writer, because… do the math.

The “standing out” happens in the practice of writing.

When I wrote my first novel, I spent a few hours every day writing. I didn’t let writer’s block get in the way. I just wrote.

And now, as I re-engage with my sense of self and purpose, and I stop trying to be who I’m not, I find that writing is an integral activity.

How many writers write every single day?

It’s most assuredly a smaller number than the number of people who call themselves writers.

You can see where we’re going here.

Maybe your label is exactly the same as the label that millions of other people give themselves.

Where you become different… where you stand out… is in practicing the daily craft of being YOU.

Peace and light-

Jesse

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