Throughout the course of my career, I’ve seen how critical mentorship (both 1 on 1 and at scale) is in helping others navigate unfamiliar waters. Sure, experiential learning tends to give the best results, but having benefitted immensely from advice I’ve received from role models and mentors over the years, I’m always keen to respond to thoughtful and honest questions from you all.
If you’re creatively stuck, making a difficult business decision or just want to chat about what it takes to start down the path towards being a full-time creator, you can text me at +1 (206) 309-5177 or drop me a message on social. Today’s show answers two questions that apply to any profession or subject matter. So enough already, what are they?
The first question centers around creative identity. Can you be a hyphen and pursue mastery at the same time? On one hand, the trends are clear. If the previous generation had 1 job for their entire career, this generation will have 5 jobs, and the next will have 5 at the same time. It’s never been easier to move laterally than ever before. Not only that, the future of business and work values breadth of knowledge, creativity and general problem solving over hyper-focus and specialization.
Here’s the rub. Pursuing mastery is about more than just the craft. A master writer, for example, considers far more than just the words on the page.
Other elements of mastery:
- Research + education
- How one allocates time and energy
- Marketing + promotion
- Self-care and health
The Greeks called it Arete– excellence in all areas. Everything we do ladders up to mastery.
So here’s my pitch for relentlessly focusing on one thing (for now). Once you begin to grasp mastery in one area, you can then deconstruct the process and stamp it onto other skills or disciplines. Check out this video with Tim Ferriss, about how to Hack Your Learning. Becoming a hyphen happens slowly over time. Don’t try to boil the ocean. Understand what your goals are, then dedicate yourself. Nobody achieves success overnight. By focusing on mastery in one area you’ll begin to have momentum to carry into your future pursuits.
Second, Megan asks about balancing a day job, feeling burnt out, and her creative passion.
You get what you must have, not what you should have. -Elle Luna
If you’re feeling burned out and like you don’t have enough time and energy to work on the thing that lights you up inside, then I have one simple question: Why do you have a day job? If it’s about the money, then one piece of advice I’ve seen work wonders is to trim your expenses and tighten your budget such that you can work less than a full-time job and create the necessary space and energy to pursue your dreams. After all, we only get one short precious life. Might as well go for it. Here’s a great book if you’re finding yourself at a crossroads: The Crossroads of Should and Must: Elle Luna
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