Bucket List #247: Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None

Apoorv Sharma
2 min readMay 1, 2021

Ever since I remember being conscious about my professional life, all I want to do was become a CEO.

I’ve been dreaming about it since the times wherein I didn’t even know, what it stands for.

Now, when I think of it; I think, it’s the movies that I watched, the kind of pieces I read, the interviews I watched, or maybe, the news headlines that used to attract me.

With time, I start to realize the real meaning of the work that a CEO does. What does it stand for? Why is one important for a company? Bla Bla.

But with time, as I worked with more and more people and companies, my aim of becoming one has faded to a point wherein I don’t even remember why I wanted to become a CEO in the first place.

All the books, be it the biography of Steve Jobs or a business book like ‘Screw Business As Usual’ by Richard Branson, are losing the impact it had on me once. It’s not like, I’m becoming less and less ambitious. But it’s about this one theory I read some time ago. A theory that vacillates between a specialist and a generalist.

So, to give you a very basic idea of this theory, ‘specialist(s)’ are the ones who are specialized in the field they are working in. It can be anyone e.g., data analyst, surgeon, aerospace engineer, etc. And ‘generalist(s)’ are the ones who know a lot of things but haven’t deep dived into it.

Basically, ‘generalist(s)’ are the ones who can get the work done regardless of the field of the work (at least, this is how I define myself).

Though people also refer to them as ‘Jack of all trades, master of none.’ And this particular statement has always hit me. Disparaged me, to be honest.

I’ve always lived in this fear that I might not be the right one for any particular JOB. That even if I get the work done, it won’t be as good as some specialist’s work.

This literally does use to scare me. A lot. A LOT!

Then, one fine day, I was watching this one interview of Kunal Shah on YouTube, wherein he said that instead of working on one particular skill for various years, try to work on various particular skills for one year.

That one particular statement calmed me down. Soothed me up. Made me think about the things I’m doing and… basically, it just opened my eyes.

I think it all comes down to one thing; this one particular pattern:

Being curious.

Pursuing something.

Failing terribly at it.

Iterating it.

Failing at it, again.

Keep on grinding.

And I guess, that’s it. What say?