What Does It Take to be Successful?

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If you were hiring someone for your company, or looking for a co-founder, which one of the following two hypothetical people would you prefer:
  • A well-rounded person who has dabbled in several industries, plus knows a little bit about each of coding, design, public speaking, and business through light involvements in clubs, or
  • A person who has a clear drive and passion within the field of your interest, who has shown the ability to take initiative and execute through long-term high-involvement projects?

 Most hiring managers and entrepreneurs prefer the second person – someone with a “spike” aligned with their field.  Individuals are professionally admirable when they develop some experience and expertise in a specific area, and bring clear skills to the workplace.  The challenge of this, though, is having the self-awareness and insight to know and fearlessly pursue an interest area.  Previous posts on the creative process can be helpful in thinking through some potential industries and functions that might be of interest.

Unfortunately, what most people do is to be overly concerned with any potential areas of weakness, spending a little bit of time across a lot of things to hedge their potential future options.  They join several disparate clubs and gain a little bit of skill in lots of areas.  While this might yield someone who is more “well-rounded,” it will only be with moderate skills.  And sadly, the people who choose this option tend to be the ones most concerned with how their resume will look to admissions committees and hiring managers.

There’s not a perfect path to developing the right skills to be the ideal candidate for any college or job.  Though keep this in mind – you will be more sought after for your exceptional skills and talents than for being average in everything.  Certainly, one shouldn’t allow their weaknesses to be a hindrance, but they shouldn’t become the sole focus of one’s development.  It’s far more fun and impressive to become phenomenal in one or two areas.  So what are you waiting for?  Get out there and pursue your passions!

2 Replies to “What Does It Take to be Successful?”

  1. Thank you. Just started following your posts and I think there’s a great deal of wisdom and a touch of sincerity to them. Keep up the good work!

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