Rebranding the Renaissance Man

Experts say small businesses should carve out a niche and specialize in one area. This approach to business makes it easier to describe what you do to potential customers and standardizes pricing projects. Makes business more efficient and scalable.

There is a counterargument to this thinking: being a generalist. Sure, being a generalist might get you further labeled as a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none, but there are significant benefits.

Generalists are typically more open-minded about things, not only receptive but excited about new ideas and challenges.

Being a generalist forces you to learn and get out of your comfort zone.

When you start to amass a little bit of knowledge about a lot of things, it’s easier to see the connective tissue between seemingly disparate ideas. This is the very essence of creativity. As an example, marketing flow meters years ago taught me how a lot of fintechs make money. At a basic level, whether it’s hydrocarbons or bits of data, the concepts of both kinds of services are almost identical.

Here are some more examples from a designer who did not specialize:

UI design
Digital Ad
Tradeshow booth

Three very different things designed by one person.

If you plan on specializing in anything, specialize in being good at what you do.