Home Blog It’s All About Specialization…

It’s All About Specialization…

Written on August 17, 2009 at 5:39 am, by Eric Cressey

At the presenters’ Q&A in Long Beach a few weekends ago, one of the questions posed to me (as the “young guy”) was “how did you get to where you are at such a young age?”

I gave a response about getting my 10,000 hours (Outliers reference)in early in my career thanks to some chance occurences that worked in my favor as well as some excellent opportunities to surround myself with very bright people.  And, of course, I’m a workaholic, so I put a lot of time toward these opportunities.  Mike Boyle referred to me as the “Doogie Howser” of the industry, and I can say that a lot of this comes more easily to me just because I love it so much.

However, after the roundtable wrapped up, my fiancee and I got to chatting about the question at dinner that night about how I am so incredibly “niched”  and specialized in my chosen field that it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m where I am today.  I mean, I…

a) don’t know how to drive a manual transmission
b) am an average cook (at best) and let Anna do all the grocery shopping
c) don’t manage my own brokerage account or IRA or do my own taxes
d) always seem to gash myself on the shins every time I try to empty the dishwasher
e) have put off using my new laptop for three months because I haven’t had time to learn the subtle changes that went into effect with Microsoft Office 2007 (I have 2000 now)

Homer Simpson once said, “How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?”

I think he kind of hit the nail on the head.  Luckily, it seems to be working out okay for me…

6 Responses to “It’s All About Specialization…”

  1. Steph Says:

    Homer also hit it on the head when he said, “All normal people eat meat. If I went to a bbq and there was no meat I’d say, “Yo Goober, where’s the meat?’ I’m trying to impress people here Lisa. You don’t win friends with salad.”

    And I just changed your contact name on my iPhone to Doogie Cressey. Seriously. The possibilities here are endless………

  2. Mike Torres Says:

    I work for Microsoft so take this with a grain of salt, but Office 2007 is a huge leap up from 2000 and only takes about a week to get comfortable. What happens with most people though is they discover a bunch of new features they didn’t know existed before! But if you’re going to upgrade your PR, my advice would be to wait until after Oct 22 when Windows 7 is released because it’s awesome – and you don’t want to have to deal with upgrading yourself, even though you’ll get it for free with a new PC bought today.


  3. Michael - The Fat Loss Authority Says:

    Had a similar conversation with a friend about this on the weekend.

    You can be average at everything or really awesome at one thing. Spend the most time on things you enjoy (hopefully your good at them as well) and enlist the help of others for all the rest.

    Falls in line with the “4 Hour Work Week” concept by Tim Ferris. Great book and recommended reading for sure.


  4. Mike Says:

    Anytime you feel like learning to drive standard let me know. It’d take you 20 minutes to learn, a lifetime to perfect!

    Congrats on all you’ve accomplished thusfar – you deserve it!


  5. Mit Says:

    Hd that same 10 thosnd hr convrston with a client that just had their first child. I told her she better retrn the child and get to work lol E lov your stuff.

  6. Daniel Says:

    i think there is truth to what you say. but i also think there is a lot of truth in this opposing thought; that insights and power come through mixing different fields of study. in fact your very job is the perfect example. it used to be there were power lifters, and there were athletes. your job is the synthesis of those two.

    also thank you for the simpsons quote.

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