What kind of specialist are you?

Paul Welsh wrote "The St. Bernard Principle". A book about the power of becoming a specialist. Paul was a good friend and left us too early. But he gave us a nice reminder of the importance of focusing.

It's easy to be a generalist. And in today's A.D.D world, we even celebrate a lack of focus. Honestly, we need to quit glorifying the "serial entrepreneurs" who start something, never quite make it go, and then abandon it to start something else. In the past, these folks were called "quitters".

Focusing takes hard work, consistency, and fortitude. But if you put in the effort, it can make you a specialist. And that can allow you to charge more for your services and be selective in the type of work you take.

Here are some ways you can work on being a specialist.

For those who want to become an execution specialist

Focus on a channel

You could become an expert at a specific channel. Imagine becoming an email specialist. Or choosing just to work on mobile apps. The focus allows you to hone your craft within a specific type of execution.

Focus on a skill

You could become an expert at writing for digital channels (understanding user flow and on-page SEO). Or maybe you want to focus on designing infographics. Focusing on a skill allows you to develop deep knowledge about a specific skill set that can make you valuable to an organization.

For those who want to become a strategic expert

Focus on an audience

There are some that focus solely on Baby Boomers or Millennials. There are specialists who work only with moms or business owners. You get the point. Focusing helps you become an expert and separates you from the pack.

Focus on an industry

Do you have experience in a specific industry? Maybe it's tech, financial services, healthcare, or any of the dozens of industries. When you focus on a specific industry, you're more likely to pay more attention to industry research, news, and trends. That makes you a more valuable asset to prospects.

It's easy to think that specializing limits the opportunities you'll have. But the opposite is actually true. Specialists (especially strategic specialists) not only command more respect but are sought after by the best prospects in your industry. Are you ready to focus?