Most of what she wrote about being a web generalist are also true of me (although design was never my strong suit). Like Mindy, my endless curiosity and willingness to teach myself the stuff I don’t already know has opened up an amazing career path that I couldn’t have imagined a few years ago. Like Mindy, I prefer to think of myself as a Renaissance woman, as opposed to a dilettante.
She also makes an excellent point that to be really successful, it’s best to strike a balance between a specialist and a generalist. To be great at one thing, and passable at several complementary things.
May I be perfectly honest, reader friends?
This whole topic of conversation has been kicking my butt for the last month. I am all about being an adaptable and multipurpose person. I enjoy frequent forays outside my comfort zone to explore new ground. But the degree to which I’ve been juggling twenty entirely different areas of responsibility lately has been exhausting. At this point, it’s not a matter of satisfying my expansive curiosity. It’s situationally creating and maintaining ADHD.
The cost of all this juggling and expanding and racing to cover too much ground has been that I’ve had scant time to devote to those few things that I’m really great at. I don’t feel like I’ve been great at one or two things and passably decent at several more. I feel as though I’ve been just barely adequate at a few things and perfectly awful at a hundred others. This is not a good place to be.
Complicating this situation are my natural difficulties with (A) realizing and (B) communicating that I can’t be all things to all people. Whitney Houston may be every woman. I’m not. But I hate admitting that.
The good news is that I’ve already taken action to correct the situation. Not before I had a few really embarrassing (but ultimately harmless except to my ego) experiences. Still, things are moving in the right direction–away from Burnout City, which was the destination I was previously speeding towards at an alarming rate.
On a related note, tomorrow I’m off to Blog World Expo, where I’ll get to spend some time with other bloggers, web nerds and social media geeks. Hopefully, it’ll help stimulate the part of my brain that houses the Stuff At Which I’m Awesome again.
At any rate, it certainly beats the plan I was briefly considering, which was running away and joining the circus. I can’t play carnival midway games to save my life.