In a recent Rolling Stone article, It Ain't Easy Being Keith, Keith Richards shared his thoughts about Keith Moon and Pete Townsend of The Who. He noted that Keith could play to Pete "like nobody else in the world." But if he played "with somebody else, it was a disaster." He went on to say "There's nothing wrong with that- sometimes you've got that one paintbrush and you rock it." Leave it to a rock god to impart wisdom to all of us business folks out here. How many of you have one paintbrush? Do you rock it?
Some folks possess a variety of brushes as well as a full palette of paints. Some of us have one brush (e.g. talent, skill, etc.) but they're not at a disadvantage. They have the capacity to be master craftsmen if they choose to be. It's not to say that those with one brush are capable of doing just one thing- it's that they are equipped to do something amazingly well. In order to make best use of the paintbrush you have here's a few things to keep in mind.
If You Know It You Can Show It
Step one is recognizing what your unique paintbrush is. Let your conscience be your guide; if you pay close attention you'll recognize the skill, talent, etc. that differentiates you from the folks around you. Once you know what it is, it's time to put it to use.
Re-Imagine Your Purpose
A fundamental tenet of business is that you're able to provide answers or solutions; to fulfill needs and wants. Driven by the need to fulfill someone else often forces us to adjust what we offer. Instead, direct your focus to what you have to offer THEN seek those who will benefit from what you have to offer. Don't worry, they're out there.
Take Good Care of Your Brush
If you're a painter you know that a brush needs to be cared for. If it dries out and becomes laden with paint it will soon be useless. So too will your personal paintbrush. Honing your skill, training your talent are means to keep your paintbrush supple and sure. No matter how good you are at something you cannot maintain a level of excellence without some effort.
The old saying use it or lose it is spot on. You may be an amazing (fill in the blank) but you can always do better. The more you use your brush the more adept you become at wielding it. The more that external factors influence your efforts the more purposeful your efforts become.
OK so you're not a rock star but you can learn from one. Whether you have one or a dozen brushes in your inventory, learn to rock them and bring the crowds to their feet.