“Jack of All Trades — Master of None”

“You Can’t Be Good at Everything”

These two phrases have haunted me for much of my professional career.  I always wanted to “do it all.”  I’m persistent… I’m a risk taker.  I “get things done.”

But the truth is that you cannot be good at everything.  It takes a keen awareness of your personal strengths and weaknesses in order to survive in the world of business.

Your customers will want and need many different services from you.  Don’t try to do everything in-house.  Don’t invest in every new piece of equipment for just one job (this is what rentals are for).

I recommend a triage approach to developing a skills inventory:

  • Marketable Services – These are skills that you feel confident in selling to others.  You should aim to keep this list below ten items (after all there’s a reason you have ten fingers).  Be sure to develop these skills continuously through exercise (practical use) and training (conferences, books, online learning, and social media).
  • Potential Services – This category houses skills that you both want to offer and show potential aptitude.  Look for opportunities to develop through personal projects and volunteering your time.  Look for a mentor that you can serve under and log additional practice time.
  • Outsourced Services – There will be lots of services you need to make a video project.  You can’t be good at all of them.  Learn enough so you understand what’s involved, then build a good pool of talent that you can hire.  There is no shame in hiring other professionals.  In fact it is critical to the success of the industry. Through the mixing of creative professionals, new ideas are born.


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About Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. He is the Publisher of Photofocus and Creative Cloud User as well as an author on Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.


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