Why you need to be a specialized generalist to be successful as an entrepreneur

If you give people tools, and they use their natural abilities and their curiosity, they will develop things in ways that will surprise you very much beyond what you might have expected. -Bill Gates

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In the old days, many businesses and industries were not commoditized. There was no global market. There was no mass competition. It was local and by need rather than global and by want of consumers. In the new days, it is international and more competitive.

Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

To become a specialist, the larger the company, the more this becomes the better option. To become a generalist, the smaller the organization, then the more this becomes, the better alternative. To be both, to be a specialized generalist, you can do both.

You weren’t in competition with everybody else on the planet. There were fewer entrepreneurs and fewer freelancers in the market. Many businesses have been commoditized since we are in an international marketplace. In the age where information and talent are abundant., it’s hard. There are low-cost forms of competition all over the planet. Those can be utilized. This process displaces services, including yours. There are a lot more professionals in the world. Software more accessible has a tangible impact on the industry. It creates a dilemma of becoming a generalist or a specialist to succeed. To be a specialized generalist or an expert generalist is to combine skills. Those rarely combined.

In other words, if you want just to specialize, e.g., become a professional athlete, you need to be among the best in the world to do well financially. On the other hand, if you combine two valuable skills, it’s rare. You become more valuable together in many instances like a computer science degree and a law degree or an extreme knowledge of finance. Another example is the combination of mathematics plus public speaking in the top decile of earning power.

In general, being a specialist is generally better in larger companies with more people and more people doing specific things. In entrepreneurial settings or smaller companies, where there are fewer people, those people…

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