Want to start your own business? Become a generalist
Here's what everyone tells you. Focus, be determined, work hard in your career, and grow to become a successful director in a big company. That's no longer the case. The age of staying at one job, or even in one industry is already irrelevant. Companies everywhere are going bust. And the mid-level managers who remain in comfortable office rooms and windows desks will increasingly be at risk of layoffs in favor of younger cheaper co-workers. As companies are forced to change in this COVID age, so too must it's employees.
A generalist will be able to innovate better
“Big innovation most often happens when an outsider who may be far away from the surface of the problem reframes the problem in a way that unlocks the solution.”
David Epstein, Range Why generalists triumph in a specialized world
When you combine multiple fields, you can gather new insights and see problems from a different perspective. This allows you to think out of the box and not be trapped in the standard solutions to standard problems.
Like most fresh graduates in life, I was finding it hard to find meaning in what I do at my early stages in my career. During weekends I would be out partying and chilling at restaurants. I would have no interest in my day to day work, never looking forward to the week ahead. I was just not interested in my job. I realized I was not growing or developing myself at work, doing mundane tasks like sales and creating PowerPoint reports.
One day, I just told myself, I'm going to change. I need to create. I need to invent. I need to satisfy my thirst and hunger for knowledge. I found this new thing called coding, and it changed my life. Coding enables me at the tips of my fingers to essentially create new companies and generate new ideas. It gives you unlimited power to create.
Thus, after a year of self-taught learning being stuck in my room, I was ready to take on the world. Or so I thought. But I had this new-found knowledge. I was in a unique position of being both in business and in tech. Yes not very focused, but very useful in setting up a small business or running a startup where you often have to do everything in the beginning. From video editing to web site creation to blog posts to marketing and sales and business registration. All comes into play and you need to empower all your skills to make the business a success.
So here's a not so short list of what you need to start a business...
- Video Editing to reach out to your customers
- Web site development to build your online pressence
- Digital marketing to market online
- Business strategy to strategize your growth
- Sales for getting new clients
- Team Development to maintain team morale
- Talent building for building your team
- Copywriting for blogging
- Accounting for business setup and audit
- Financial planning for cashflow
- Legal contracts for staff and company incorporation
- Online video team meetings
- Photo editing for posters
As you can see, it's a long list.
OK, i get it. Startups are hard. So what you should I do next?
Persevere, don't give up. But never stop exploring and be always learning. Satisfy that curious cat of yours. Be willing to venture out to new and unknown fields. If I could do it, so could you. It's so important to always have a pile of junk ready at your disposal to refer to anytime.
My pile of junk