Skip to main content
  • Afghanistan

    Afghanistan

    (USD $)

  • Åland Islands

    Åland Islands

    (USD $)

  • Albania

    Albania

    (USD $)

  • Algeria

    Algeria

    (USD $)

  • Andorra

    Andorra

    (USD $)

  • Angola

    Angola

    (USD $)

  • Anguilla

    Anguilla

    (USD $)

  • Antigua & Barbuda

    Antigua & Barbuda

    (USD $)

  • Argentina

    Argentina

    (USD $)

  • Armenia

    Armenia

    (USD $)

  • Aruba

    Aruba

    (USD $)

  • Ascension Island

    Ascension Island

    (USD $)

  • Australia

    Australia

    (AUD $)

  • Austria

    Austria

    (USD $)

  • Azerbaijan

    Azerbaijan

    (USD $)

  • Bahamas

    Bahamas

    (USD $)

  • Bahrain

    Bahrain

    (USD $)

  • Bangladesh

    Bangladesh

    (USD $)

  • Barbados

    Barbados

    (USD $)

  • Belarus

    Belarus

    (USD $)

  • Belgium

    Belgium

    (USD $)

  • Belize

    Belize

    (USD $)

  • Benin

    Benin

    (USD $)

  • Bermuda

    Bermuda

    (USD $)

  • Bhutan

    Bhutan

    (USD $)

  • Bolivia

    Bolivia

    (USD $)

  • Bosnia & Herzegovina

    Bosnia & Herzegovina

    (USD $)

  • Botswana

    Botswana

    (USD $)

  • Brazil

    Brazil

    (USD $)

  • British Indian Ocean Territory

    British Indian Ocean Territory

    (USD $)

  • British Virgin Islands

    British Virgin Islands

    (USD $)

  • Brunei

    Brunei

    (USD $)

  • Bulgaria

    Bulgaria

    (USD $)

  • Burkina Faso

    Burkina Faso

    (USD $)

  • Burundi

    Burundi

    (USD $)

  • Cambodia

    Cambodia

    (USD $)

  • Cameroon

    Cameroon

    (USD $)

  • Canada

    Canada

    (USD $)

  • Cape Verde

    Cape Verde

    (USD $)

  • Caribbean Netherlands

    Caribbean Netherlands

    (USD $)

  • Cayman Islands

    Cayman Islands

    (USD $)

  • Central African Republic

    Central African Republic

    (USD $)

  • Chad

    Chad

    (USD $)

  • Chile

    Chile

    (USD $)

  • China

    China

    (USD $)

  • Christmas Island

    Christmas Island

    (USD $)

  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands

    Cocos (Keeling) Islands

    (USD $)

  • Colombia

    Colombia

    (USD $)

  • Comoros

    Comoros

    (USD $)

  • Congo - Brazzaville

    Congo - Brazzaville

    (USD $)

  • Congo - Kinshasa

    Congo - Kinshasa

    (USD $)

  • Cook Islands

    Cook Islands

    (USD $)

  • Costa Rica

    Costa Rica

    (USD $)

  • Côte d’Ivoire

    Côte d’Ivoire

    (USD $)

  • Croatia

    Croatia

    (USD $)

  • Curaçao

    Curaçao

    (USD $)

  • Cyprus

    Cyprus

    (USD $)

  • Czechia

    Czechia

    (USD $)

  • Denmark

    Denmark

    (USD $)

  • Djibouti

    Djibouti

    (USD $)

  • Dominica

    Dominica

    (USD $)

  • Dominican Republic

    Dominican Republic

    (USD $)

  • Ecuador

    Ecuador

    (USD $)

  • Egypt

    Egypt

    (USD $)

  • El Salvador

    El Salvador

    (USD $)

  • Equatorial Guinea

    Equatorial Guinea

    (USD $)

  • Eritrea

    Eritrea

    (USD $)

  • Estonia

    Estonia

    (USD $)

  • Eswatini

    Eswatini

    (USD $)

  • Ethiopia

    Ethiopia

    (USD $)

  • Falkland Islands

    Falkland Islands

    (USD $)

  • Faroe Islands

    Faroe Islands

    (USD $)

  • Fiji

    Fiji

    (USD $)

  • Finland

    Finland

    (USD $)

  • France

    France

    (EUR €)

  • French Guiana

    French Guiana

    (USD $)

  • French Polynesia

    French Polynesia

    (USD $)

  • French Southern Territories

    French Southern Territories

    (USD $)

  • Gabon

    Gabon

    (USD $)

  • Gambia

    Gambia

    (USD $)

  • Georgia

    Georgia

    (USD $)

  • Germany

    Germany

    (USD $)

  • Ghana

    Ghana

    (USD $)

  • Gibraltar

    Gibraltar

    (USD $)

  • Greece

    Greece

    (USD $)

  • Greenland

    Greenland

    (USD $)

  • Grenada

    Grenada

    (USD $)

  • Guadeloupe

    Guadeloupe

    (USD $)

  • Guatemala

    Guatemala

    (USD $)

  • Guernsey

    Guernsey

    (USD $)

  • Guinea

    Guinea

    (USD $)

  • Guinea-Bissau

    Guinea-Bissau

    (USD $)

  • Guyana

    Guyana

    (USD $)

  • Haiti

    Haiti

    (USD $)

  • Honduras

    Honduras

    (USD $)

  • Hong Kong SAR

    Hong Kong SAR

    (USD $)

  • Hungary

    Hungary

    (USD $)

  • Iceland

    Iceland

    (USD $)

  • India

    India

    (USD $)

  • Indonesia

    Indonesia

    (USD $)

  • Iraq

    Iraq

    (USD $)

  • Ireland

    Ireland

    (USD $)

  • Isle of Man

    Isle of Man

    (USD $)

  • Israel

    Israel

    (USD $)

  • Italy

    Italy

    (USD $)

  • Jamaica

    Jamaica

    (USD $)

  • Japan

    Japan

    (JPY ¥)

  • Jersey

    Jersey

    (USD $)

  • Jordan

    Jordan

    (USD $)

  • Kazakhstan

    Kazakhstan

    (USD $)

  • Kenya

    Kenya

    (USD $)

  • Kiribati

    Kiribati

    (USD $)

  • Kosovo

    Kosovo

    (USD $)

  • Kuwait

    Kuwait

    (USD $)

  • Kyrgyzstan

    Kyrgyzstan

    (USD $)

  • Laos

    Laos

    (USD $)

  • Latvia

    Latvia

    (USD $)

  • Lebanon

    Lebanon

    (USD $)

  • Lesotho

    Lesotho

    (USD $)

  • Liberia

    Liberia

    (USD $)

  • Libya

    Libya

    (USD $)

  • Liechtenstein

    Liechtenstein

    (USD $)

  • Lithuania

    Lithuania

    (USD $)

  • Luxembourg

    Luxembourg

    (USD $)

  • Macao SAR

    Macao SAR

    (USD $)

  • Madagascar

    Madagascar

    (USD $)

  • Malawi

    Malawi

    (USD $)

  • Malaysia

    Malaysia

    (USD $)

  • Maldives

    Maldives

    (USD $)

  • Mali

    Mali

    (USD $)

  • Malta

    Malta

    (USD $)

  • Martinique

    Martinique

    (USD $)

  • Mauritania

    Mauritania

    (USD $)

  • Mauritius

    Mauritius

    (USD $)

  • Mayotte

    Mayotte

    (USD $)

  • Mexico

    Mexico

    (USD $)

  • Moldova

    Moldova

    (USD $)

  • Monaco

    Monaco

    (USD $)

  • Mongolia

    Mongolia

    (USD $)

  • Montenegro

    Montenegro

    (USD $)

  • Montserrat

    Montserrat

    (USD $)

  • Morocco

    Morocco

    (USD $)

  • Mozambique

    Mozambique

    (USD $)

  • Myanmar (Burma)

    Myanmar (Burma)

    (USD $)

  • Namibia

    Namibia

    (USD $)

  • Nauru

    Nauru

    (USD $)

  • Nepal

    Nepal

    (USD $)

  • Netherlands

    Netherlands

    (USD $)

  • New Caledonia

    New Caledonia

    (USD $)

  • New Zealand

    New Zealand

    (USD $)

  • Nicaragua

    Nicaragua

    (USD $)

  • Niger

    Niger

    (USD $)

  • Nigeria

    Nigeria

    (USD $)

  • Niue

    Niue

    (USD $)

  • Norfolk Island

    Norfolk Island

    (USD $)

  • North Macedonia

    North Macedonia

    (USD $)

  • Norway

    Norway

    (USD $)

  • Oman

    Oman

    (USD $)

  • Pakistan

    Pakistan

    (USD $)

  • Palestinian Territories

    Palestinian Territories

    (USD $)

  • Panama

    Panama

    (USD $)

  • Papua New Guinea

    Papua New Guinea

    (USD $)

  • Paraguay

    Paraguay

    (USD $)

  • Peru

    Peru

    (USD $)

  • Philippines

    Philippines

    (USD $)

  • Pitcairn Islands

    Pitcairn Islands

    (USD $)

  • Poland

    Poland

    (USD $)

  • Portugal

    Portugal

    (USD $)

  • Qatar

    Qatar

    (USD $)

  • Réunion

    Réunion

    (USD $)

  • Romania

    Romania

    (USD $)

  • Russia

    Russia

    (USD $)

  • Rwanda

    Rwanda

    (USD $)

  • Samoa

    Samoa

    (USD $)

  • San Marino

    San Marino

    (USD $)

  • São Tomé & Príncipe

    São Tomé & Príncipe

    (USD $)

  • Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia

    (USD $)

  • Senegal

    Senegal

    (USD $)

  • Serbia

    Serbia

    (USD $)

  • Seychelles

    Seychelles

    (USD $)

  • Sierra Leone

    Sierra Leone

    (USD $)

  • Singapore

    Singapore

    (USD $)

  • Sint Maarten

    Sint Maarten

    (USD $)

  • Slovakia

    Slovakia

    (USD $)

  • Slovenia

    Slovenia

    (USD $)

  • Solomon Islands

    Solomon Islands

    (USD $)

  • Somalia

    Somalia

    (USD $)

  • South Africa

    South Africa

    (USD $)

  • South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands

    South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands

    (USD $)

  • South Korea

    South Korea

    (USD $)

  • South Sudan

    South Sudan

    (USD $)

  • Spain

    Spain

    (USD $)

  • Sri Lanka

    Sri Lanka

    (USD $)

  • St. Barthélemy

    St. Barthélemy

    (USD $)

  • St. Helena

    St. Helena

    (USD $)

  • St. Kitts & Nevis

    St. Kitts & Nevis

    (USD $)

  • St. Lucia

    St. Lucia

    (USD $)

  • St. Martin

    St. Martin

    (USD $)

  • St. Pierre & Miquelon

    St. Pierre & Miquelon

    (USD $)

  • St. Vincent & Grenadines

    St. Vincent & Grenadines

    (USD $)

  • Sudan

    Sudan

    (USD $)

  • Suriname

    Suriname

    (USD $)

  • Svalbard & Jan Mayen

    Svalbard & Jan Mayen

    (USD $)

  • Sweden

    Sweden

    (USD $)

  • Switzerland

    Switzerland

    (USD $)

  • Taiwan

    Taiwan

    (USD $)

  • Tajikistan

    Tajikistan

    (USD $)

  • Tanzania

    Tanzania

    (USD $)

  • Thailand

    Thailand

    (USD $)

  • Timor-Leste

    Timor-Leste

    (USD $)

  • Togo

    Togo

    (USD $)

  • Tokelau

    Tokelau

    (USD $)

  • Tonga

    Tonga

    (USD $)

  • Trinidad & Tobago

    Trinidad & Tobago

    (USD $)

  • Tristan da Cunha

    Tristan da Cunha

    (USD $)

  • Tunisia

    Tunisia

    (USD $)

  • Türkiye

    Türkiye

    (USD $)

  • Turkmenistan

    Turkmenistan

    (USD $)

  • Turks & Caicos Islands

    Turks & Caicos Islands

    (USD $)

  • Tuvalu

    Tuvalu

    (USD $)

  • U.S. Outlying Islands

    U.S. Outlying Islands

    (USD $)

  • Uganda

    Uganda

    (USD $)

  • Ukraine

    Ukraine

    (USD $)

  • United Arab Emirates

    United Arab Emirates

    (USD $)

  • United Kingdom

    United Kingdom

    (USD $)

  • United States

    United States

    (USD $)

  • Uruguay

    Uruguay

    (USD $)

  • Uzbekistan

    Uzbekistan

    (USD $)

  • Vanuatu

    Vanuatu

    (USD $)

  • Vatican City

    Vatican City

    (USD $)

  • Venezuela

    Venezuela

    (USD $)

  • Vietnam

    Vietnam

    (USD $)

  • Wallis & Futuna

    Wallis & Futuna

    (USD $)

  • Western Sahara

    Western Sahara

    (USD $)

  • Yemen

    Yemen

    (USD $)

  • Zambia

    Zambia

    (USD $)

  • Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe

    (USD $)

Be A Specialist in Your Work, and a Generalist in Your Leisure

Be A Specialist in Your Work, and a Generalist in Your Leisure

This is advice that I believe most people need to hear—myself included.

Let’s tackle the work part first…

Many people pride themselves on being a Jack of all Trades at work. As an entrepreneur for the last 15 years I can relate to the need to wear a lot of hats.

During any given week I am:
- calculating margins in a spreadsheet
- filling out customs paperwork for an international shipment
- collaborating with Griffin on a new surfboard model idea
- writing a short article that our customers will find useful and inspiring
- drawing-up stock boards to fill the racks of the shop
- fixing an issue with our website
- pausing to talk to a customer in a way that makes them feel truly heard
- taking out the trash
- ...and making strategic decisions about where we should best invest our time & energy as a team.

But there will always be a ceiling for the Jack of all Trades.

Do you know who I call when I hit that ceiling? A specialist.

When an issue with the website is above my ability to fix, when I need new illustrations to keep our soft goods range looking fresh, when I need more advanced reports, when it comes time to actually shaping/glassing/sanding/polishing the surfboards, when we need proper photos taken, when I want to combine all the recent articles into a neat little guide book… I call a specialist.

Specialist have dedicated themselves to their craft and are paid accordingly. Typically, the more specialized the skill the more they can charge.

If you find yourself in a position where you are a Jack of all Trades in your work and you want to progress in your career, pick something to specialize in and master it. Better yet, pick a sub-specialty. The more specific your skillset, the more valuable your expertise.

The surest way to increase your earning potential is to specialize in a single skill and do that thing as well as anybody.

Conversely…

When it comes to leisure and recreation, I believe the exact opposite is true.

Do not become a specialist.

Specializing in a single pursuit narrows your view of the world. Recreation is meant to broaden your horizons and open you up to new experiences.

In 99% of cases, I think it’s better to be a curious, competent intermediate than it is to be a genuine expert when it comes to recreational pursuits.

The temptation for the single-specialty expert is to become so obsessed with their craft that they narrow in on one way of doing things. There’s a right way and a wrong way—and if you don’t do it their way and use their equipment you’re doing it wrong.

The further you climb up the recreational pyramid the more clouded your vision becomes. Don’t fall into the trap. Remain an eager intermediate in as many disciplines as you find interesting.  (Which isn't to say that you shouldn't borrow knowledge, tips, and wisdom from those further up the pyramid than you.) 

Much more prepared for life is the person who is reasonably competent at surfing, sailing, wood-working, diving, fishing, game-spotting, open fire cooking, horseback riding, sand castle building, jerky making, fly-tying, and reciting poetry than the fellow who has mastered a single pursuit.

Unless you plan on becoming a guide, there is no practical benefit to being hyper-specialized in your leisure. So dip your toes into anything and everything you think is interesting. Read from the experts, study those more experienced than you, and don’t expect success to come right away.

Invest the time, commit to the process, and carry your experiences with you like an invisible merit badge. One of the great mysteries of life is that lessons from one area can color in some wisdom in a completely unrelated pursuit.

Lastly, be more interested than interesting. The most curious person at the party will always leave a more positive impression than the fellow who wants to convince everyone he meets that he is something special.

It is my opinion that you should strive to be a specialist in your work and a generalist in your leisure and good things will come in both arenas.

What's Next?