Too Many Hats? – If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times. Since I began working at the age of fifteen I’ve been hearing it. “You’ve got to find your niche.” “You can’t be a jack-of-all-trades and expect to be successful.” “You can’t do everything.” You can’t…you can’t…you can’t. Sadly, I spent most of my career believing this. so every three to four years when I got the itch to do something else, I would change jobs without even a thought. This was all great and exciting, but I wasn’t allowing enough time for roots to set in. Thankfully after fifteen years It occurred to me that at least I stayed in the same industry.
From that point on, I was determined to stay in the same line of work. Now, at least I can say I’ve been in the entertainment business for over forty-five years. I tell people “I’m not old…I just started really really young.” So I went from television Broadcasting to radio back to television, then to cable TV, then to theater, then back to television and eventually (you guessed it), back to theater. Thank goodness I can say I’ve been at my current job for twenty years. While I love the work, and the wonderful experiences at all of the jobs I’ve had to this point, I never have found my niche. Rather than dig in and get specific, I discovered a wider umbrella to fit it all into – the Entertainment Business.
I will always consider myself a life-long learner. I love to read, (my Barnes & Noble membership card has worn thin.) I enjoy studying new things. I love history, and following a heart attack in 2020 I learned that Iove to cook. Since childhood I’ve been fascinated with how things work. It explains my childhood obsession with magic, it explains my many years in tv and radio. It even explains my love for the theater business. Yep, I’m still that kid that wants to be invited into the cockpit to watch them fly the plane. These are the things that make life fun and interesting.
So here I am, turning 60 next week. I’m still 70% kid at heart regardless of not letting me into the cockpit. I love my toys (ahem…”equipment”) that I use for my other career. Wait. What? Other career? Oh yeah, I own and operate a media company out of my home. In 2006 I decided to go back to school to study photography. It only took six years to earn my degree. I loved it so much, they gave me two degrees. Again, the twenty year-long career wasn’t enough to satisfy; I had to pile more on. After graduation I started my photography business. In 2020 (a busy year) I decided to expand the business by adding Video production and Voice-acting.
But here’s the question. Does offering multiple services make me a jack-of-all- trades? Is that a bad thing? Should I pick just one tiny sliver of this adventure I’m on and focus only on that? …..That would be depressing. I only have so many years left to squeeze this all in. If I have to pick just one thing, what do I pick? (…and can I keep the equipment? – or, can I at least see the cockpit?)
If you had multiple skills, and someone said you had to pick one. Which one would you choose? I would venture to say you would prefer to continue with all of them. After all, they are skills that you have nurtured and finely-tuned over many years, and you’re proud of them. Why should you give up something that you enjoy doing? How many are fortunate enough to have something that they are not only good at, but that they love to do. I say go for it. Do it all. just make time for yourself. Make time to rest. If it’s too stressful, scale back, and if you have a heart attack, you can always learn to cook.