Cultivate Multiple Adequate Skills Instead Of Trying To Excel At One

Not everyone can be the brainiest student in the class, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make something of yourself in the working world. Dilbert creator Scott Adams argues that by combining your skills, you can become pretty valuable to businesses.

Under the hard realisation that he’d never be the top student in his class, moving on to become an engineer, scientist, or other thinker, Adams realised that a life of entrepreneurship fitted him much better. He argues that other non-brainy students like him could do well to follow a similar path, which means not trying to become the best at any one thing, but diversifying and combining your skills into something marketable:

The first thing you should learn in a course on entrepreneurship is how to make yourself valuable. It’s unlikely that any average student can develop a world-class skill in one particular area. But it’s easy to learn how to do several different things fairly well. I succeeded as a cartoonist with negligible art talent, some basic writing skills, an ordinary sense of humor and a bit of experience in the business world. The “Dilbert” comic is a combination of all four skills. The world has plenty of better artists, smarter writers, funnier humorists and more experienced business people. The rare part is that each of those modest skills is collected in one person. That’s how value is created.

With the right combination of skills, you can set out to do just about anything, which opens a lot of doors you might not have had if you’d focused on one particular thing. Adams dishes out a lot more advice on how to prepare yourself for the working world over at the Wall Street Journal, so hit the link below to read more. It’s a pretty good read.

How to Get a Real Education [Wall Street Journal]

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