The perks of being a generalist.

People often use the terms “Generalist” and “Jack of all trades” interchangeably. It is a common myth that generalists are less superior than their specialist counterparts. Being a generalist,people tend to see you incapable of achieving the “expert” status. As a generalist it is quite easy to be  misquoted and misunderstood. However, The perks of being a generalist are far too great to be ignored.

Being a generalist is by no means an easy task. It may sound fun to be able to boast about the various skills that you possess but learning those can be equally tough. A true generalist has his skill set varied over different fields which enables him to create some value out of what he has learnt. Their skill set may make them seem unfocused but in true sense having a working knowledge of everything around you is a must. They tend to see the ‘bigger picture’ and are more likely to know how different things interconnect with each other. They are better suited to adapt in almost every situation imaginable. In today’s world, you need to constantly upgrade yourself to keep up with its pace. Generalists therefore have an upper hand in this matter.

If you are in a workplace, you will realize that many a times you have to fill in the shoes of others. You may have to hold the fort if the need be. This is when the generalist mindset kicks in. They are easy to grow and can potentially be doing multiple tasks while being good at the one thing that they were hired for. Specialists on the other hand cannot be used beyond their area of expertise.

Identifying myself as a generalist too, I have found that it is handy to be fluent in a few fields and at the same time having a dozen other skill sets. The choice between generalists and specialists is mainly opinion driven. It depends on what the situation asks out of people.

When seeking accuracy of predictions, it is better to turn to “those who know many little things, draw from an eclectic array of traditions, and accept ambiguity and contradictions.”- Phillip Tetlock.




Saving up for your business

Every person working a 9 to 5 or otherwise,has at some point in life thought about owning a business. It is not worth working  long hours every week just to see your boss get all the credit. Being your own boss is a dream everybody has. However, even the most thought out business models are troubled when encountered with the question of financing. Unless you have deep pockets, the start of business is a tough situation. And the point is,you start a business to build some financial strength but need money to start a business.Its a loop and you need to figure a way to enter it successfully. You need to have money to make more money.

Soon to be starting my first business, I discovered some ways, from our daily lives,that will help you in saving up for the business that you are aiming to build. Apparently all of them are present right before us, staring at our faces but we need to recognize them.

  1. Savings- Definitely,this has got to be the most cliched one . Whether you are a student or a person working a job,you need to set aside some part of your pocket money/income for your business. Saving an extra 10% may not result in large sums of money but will definitely add up in the future.
  2. Coffee- This is one of the most overlooked expense ever. Period. That morning trip through the Starbucks may cost you more than you think. If you are and avid drinker, that everyday cup of 8$ sums up to a staggering amount of 240$. I’m not saying, go all out and stop it. Even by reducing its frequency to alternative days you save about a hundred bucks. A lot for your startup.
  3. Transport- If you own a car,try carpooling. If that’s not possible resolve to use public transport almost twice a week. We all know how expensive taxis can be. Public transport often provides the users with schemes and discounts for monthly passes. Keep an eye out for them. You could very well ride your convertible but until the point that your business is earning you profits,you need every cent to invest.
  4. Partner- No business is ever started solo. You need different people with varied expertise to help set up your business. Find a trustworthy business partner. By having a partner you ensure that the costs to be encountered will be split by you. Instead of having to save for your business alone, you have someone else too.
  5. Cable- I still fail to understand why people pay for both cable and Internet at the same time. Its high time to realize that you could stream live tv on your phone. Checkout services like that available in your country. By signing off the cable you can add a couple of extra bucks to your savings.
  6. Food- This is essential.There can be no cuts here( Yes,I’d spend as much as required on food). However avoid going to unnecessary gourmet restaurants. You do not get enough value in return of what you pay. It is of course very romantic to take your girlfriend for a meal in five star restaurant but if you are really serious about setting up that business you will have to postpone that for a while.
  7. No cash no payment- Avoid using your card for every little payment. Make a rule when shopping that if you don’t have enough cash then you’re not buying it. Having a card makes us swipe it anytime we wish. We forget that we have to pay for all of that later and that really hurts your budget.
  8. Track your expenses- Always track your expenses. See where most of your money is spent.Is that really necessary? Asking a few right questions to yourself will make a difference.

All these methods require extra effort on your part. I’m not saying that this will magically give you loads of money but over a longer period you will see the difference. You could prefer temporary comfort by spending on useless things but that will only set you back. I’m not implying that you avoid dentist’s appointments or cancel your gym subscription to save money. Spend where required,avoid where possible. Ask yourself what is that you desire more, temporary comforts or your business running at full potential and you will find other ways to help your cause too.