You wake up in jail. You have a hangover and you’ve just been informed that last night you hit and killed a pedestrian with your car. You are now charged with manslaughter and you need to make a phone call. Next to the pay phone are two business cards.

The first reads:

Larry’s Law Services. We do Bankruptcy, Patenting, Tax issues, Child Custody, Divorce, DUI and Manslaughter.

The second reads:

Edward Vincent, Specializing in Manslaughter.

Larry is pretty affordable. Edward is gonna take a bit more money. Who do you call?

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This illustrates the difference between ‘being in the industry’ versus ‘specializing in your field’. Narrowing down what your focus is going to be has its own stresses. Making the decision to pursue a specific avenue in your craft is also very rewarding.

1.You will have a higher level of Commitment.

When you have a goal, you have a mission. Write down that mission statement and say “This is who I am, this is what I do.” Anything that is outside your goals are just getting in the way. Do not be ashamed of turning away work. Would you expect legendary bike builder Jesse James to do oil changes?

2.You will take on more Responsibility.

With commitment comes responsibility. Expect to turn the word WORK from a noun into a verb. WORK will no longer be a place you go to and a place you leave. WORK will be an action that you will turn on and off as necessary. You can go to you kids soccer game, Work for an hour engaging commitments and then have a family board game night.
You are going to be left making the choices. You will be the one to take the blame. What will happen for sure is that you will learn to TRUST IN YOURSELF.

3.You will gain a stronger Problem Solving Perspective.

When you are spread thin working every job that comes across your desk, you become task master. No one job gets the 100% treatment it deserves. You sort them into categories just so you mind doesn’t go crazy with the workload. After a while you realize that each problem is solved systematically. Not a whole lot of thought is being put into your workload.
When you specialize into doing one particular task, each job becomes very unique. You tap into a very creative side that will only be strengthened as you use it more often. You will amaze yourself at how quickly you can see the solution. Problems that would create stress and keep you up at night will reveal themselves in record time. You will feel unstoppable.

For the longest time you have been looking to industry standards for problem solving. What did people do in this situation before me? How can I get through this efficiently and correctly? You may even find yourself spending more time looking for examples or reference than attacking the problem head on.
Now that you have thinned out your work load, you can concentrate on each task one at a time. You will find your own path. You will find your own voice. You will discover that you have had the answers inside of you the whole time. You will no longer hide behind reference books. You will have the courage to make your own conclusions.

5.You will trust in yourself.

It doesn’t take long to feel the power of believing in your choices. A few years ago I stayed up late talking with my friend Dave Reagan. It was approaching 4 in the morning and I had an appointment the next day. I was getting ready to email my client to tell him that I hadn’t drawn his tattoo. I was going to have to cancel because I wasn’t prepared.
Dave said something to me that boosted my confidence. “Why don’t you just draw it on?” I had been so afraid of not being 100% prepared. Dave said “You’ve already draw it 100 times! You already know how to draw it!”
That morning I drew a huge tattoo on that I would have normally stenciled. I really felt awesome after it was done. This experience gave me a huge boost in trusting my abilities.


Matt Hodel

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