Jack of all trades, master of none
What’s your thing? The thing that everyone knows you excel at, or the thing you are known for? The thing that sets you apart as your area of expertise? What would people come to you for advice about?
I ask because I have no idea how to answer the question, myself. It’s a topic that’s been haunting me for a while (perhaps all moms who take the leap into the Stay-at-Home-Mom role struggle with some form of identity confusion). See, it would appear I am a jack of all trades, but a master of none. And being only __% competent at things (some fluid number always far less than 100) can become defeating at times. Especially when you hold yourself up against those whose mastery of (insert skill or talent here) is greater than yours. There are so many things I wish I were great at.
While I walk around with heart eyes (and some shred of envy if I’m honest) of those who are vocationally or creatively excelling, I know that even the greatest craftsmen, performers, writers and teachers, all have more to learn; they will be perfecting their crafts until their death, never to reach 100%, because life isn’t a math equation and the sum total of our efforts is not always 100. But I sure would love to find my thing. Whatever that thing may be. And I’m afraid there are too many other things distracting me from focusing on a thing. Here’s the short list of things that I have dipped my finger into, never to fully commit and excel. Let’s start with the obvious:
- Blogging. I would love to be a blogger. I am (based on my statistics) a 10% blogger. That is, out of the 365 days in a year, I have blogged 40 times. That’s pretty puny compared to the bloggers whose sites you flock to as a part of your morning coffee ritual or lunch break reprieve from work. I have desired to be a bigger influencer in the blogging community off and on for the last year and it’s a subject I have wrestled with continually. What will I write about that will engage people? What do people even want to read about from me? What is my motivation (encouragement?vanity? affirmation? sharing experience?)? Am I funny enough? Do I dress well enough? Am I still being authentic and real? I would love to collaborate with that company. I don’t want to sell out and collaborate with that other company. I don’t want my content to become watered down because I’m meeting deadlines and writing based off a script. I have great plans and dreams of content, but will it fall on deaf ears and be a waste of my creative energy and time? You catch my drift.
- Singing. I am on the worship team at our church and it is such a high honor I have to use my voice to lead our congregation in worship. But based off how many weekends per year I lead, I am a 23% worship leader and thus a 23% singer. I don’t feel at all like a master of this craft, and I have so much to learn. I was, in the last year, invited to be a part of a song-writing collaboration, and I have written exactly zero songs. Where is the time? Every time I sit down to the piano my fingers freeze up and my mind goes to creating mental lists of doctor appointments and grocery lists instead of major and minor chord progressions. Not to mention I am stunted by the intimidation of “whatever I write will be a laughing stock compared to what actual artists are writing.” And so I give my 23% and the remaining 77% sits in the corner waiting for me to come and engage it.
- Photography. I have recently fallen head over heels in love with my camera and spend as much time as I can taking my best attempts at beautiful photos with it. I don’t know how much of a percent of photographer I am, but if you just dip your toe into the online world of photography, as I have, you would agree my breadth of knowledge and talent probably make me a <1% photographer. Talk about a craft with a lot of artists! I am basic in comparison to most, but I have the heart for it. And still, every time I hit “export”on a final photo, the first words out of my mouth are “Is it OK? I can redo it if you don’t like it!”
Other areas I dabble in and wish I were more proficient include entrepreneurship, writing (in a more significant context than blogging), mentoring, cooking, painting, beauty, fashion… But I’m a dabbler. A taste-tester.
I wonder… what do you feel I can offer? What is something that when you think of Courtney Schultz, you say “She seems proficient or experienced in ____ and I would ask her advice on _____”?
I can sit here all day and write soliloquies about my musings and dabblings, but what value am I bringing to you? What do you come to me to gain? What can I give? Where can I strive for 100%? If you have a word or two to share, I would be ever grateful for the guidance of trusted friends. ❤️