Niche and the Death of the Renaissance Man

If you google how to make a million dollars, you’ll find a lot of information, and a lot of it crap. But one thing that comes up over and over is this idea of being really good at one thing. In other words, you have to find your niche.

The same goes for almost any topic we can discuss these days. Want to become a successful writer? Find your niche. Musician? Find your niche. Athlete? Niche.

Get Really Good at One Thing

Of course, getting really good at one thing makes a lot of sense. If you can become the best at your niche, you’ll be able to demand higher pay, more attention, and you might even create that million-dollar business you’ve been dreaming of. I’m not dissing the idea that having a niche has its strengths. But for everything we gain, something is lost.

So you get really good at one thing. Good for you. You’ve created the latest technological doodad that everybody wants. You’ve perfected and marketed it successfully. It’s your niche. But then someone comes along and outdoes your doodad with something bigger and better. You try to compete but it’s moved beyond your niche and you get left behind.

Okay, I may have used a little hyperbole and generalization, but I think you get the idea. There could be a downside to only having a single niche.

Niche Is Killing the Renaissance Man and Woman

I’m not really a niche guy. I’m not quite a Renaissance man either, but I love the idea of having a grasp on a variety of talents, knowledge, and skills.

On my own journey, I’ve embraced a variety of skills such as writing, music, athleticism, education, minimalism, religion, etc. And within each of those areas I’ve often defied categorization. I write several genres of music. I practice many kinds of exercise. Maybe I’m a bit of a Renaissance man after all.

But technology may slowly kill people like me off. As long as people are repeatedly told that they need to get really good at one thing, less will discover the power of variety. Over time, there will be more people who are really good at one thing, but less Jacks of all trades.

How Niche Limits Simple Living

As a minimalist, one might believe that niche is good. It’s simple, right? But think about it. If your talents and knowledge are limited to a small area, you will not be very self-reliant. For me, self-reliance is a big part of being a minimalist. The less I have to depend on the services of others, the more simply I can live my own life. The narrower your niche, the less you can do

I encourage you to buck the trend. Don’t paint yourself into a corner because you think having one speciality will be your key to success. Embrace variety and save the Renaissance man and woman.

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