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A Little of Everything

2017 March 16

I watched this YouTube diatribe this week on generalists and how they (we) simply can’t make a mark on society like a specialist can. Meaning if you have a feed or a blog or a business based on a little of everything and not a lot of one thing, you’re screwed. How one guy launched an entire Instagram of things sitting in the palm of his hand and he’s a genius because he’s covering products and brands in such a specific manner and it’s Insta-gold (here is the account, if you’re curious). How it’s simply too late in the game for generalists. Every channel and concept and business idea is already so over-saturated that if you’re not hyper-focused on your vision, angle and story…it’s simply going to get lost.

Beyond Instagram fame (which I don’t really think about…obviously, given my following there), the point made me think. I’ve struggled from time to time with the focus of this blog and my writing and the things I am putting out into the universe and expecting people to spend their time consuming. I’ve often wondered if my work would have more impact if it was focused on one particular aspect of life, of motherhood, of work/life balance instead of…all of them. But I always end up coming back to the things that consume my time each and every day and the reality is, they are general. One day it’s health and wellness, the next it’s parenting. One day it’s career, the next it’s my hair. It’s a little of everything and not a lot of one thing…but it’s life.

I met Devon more than five years ago when she was one of my daughter’s preschool teachers. We quickly became friendly and she ended up helping us as my son’s nanny for a few years after that, becoming a much loved and every day fixture in our lives. She is an accomplished surfer, a new mom, a really great writer and…a generalist. She fills her blog with stories of her days and her nights and the moments in between. Some of them meaningful, some of them seemingly mundane, but all captured in this easy, effortless voice that I just love. It’s simply her day-to-day life, but somehow it resonates with me every single time. Maybe it’s her words, maybe it’s her pictures, maybe it’s just knowing her and her heart the way I do. It’s a little of everything Devon and it’s great.

And when I clicked through to her latest post shortly after watching the guy on YouTube…it suddenly all made sense to me.

He might be right, don’t get me wrong. In terms of growth and “success” and making your mark, being a specialist may be key. But in life, I prefer a little bit of everything instead of a whole lot of one thing. I prefer bits and pieces of this mixed with healthy servings of that, particularly when it comes from the heart. And I think society needs more of that beyond everything else. In the end, that’s where everything should really start…

With your heart.

In the palm of your hand.

Out there for the world to see.

2 Responses
  1. Sara permalink
    April 2, 2017

    I took a sabbatical this past year, and as part of it, I went and met with friends who were very successful (and happy) to learn their secrets. One of the common threads was being both a specialist and a generalist. I talked to designers who also write and take photos. Or CFO’s who also play in a band and do graphic design. I started to think about it and it made total sense. In life, we don’t expect any other single relationship, or experience to be enough. Imagine how much pressure that is! So, it makes sense that a person would have a focus area and then some side hustles in order to feel fully seen. And, to not burn out. As someone who’s very specialized, this is new thinking, but I am working to put it into practice. It’s exciting!

    • WWGD permalink*
      April 4, 2017

      Hi Sara! Thank you for sharing this — I love the thought process behind it. And the idea that my generalist little approach to writing might be a reflection of my generalist approach to…life. Ha.

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