Jack of all trades, master of none

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“Don’t be like Jack, don’t focus on too many activities” My English teacher would tell us…but Aunty, why are you selling recharge card and snacks during breaktime? Why does our agricultural teacher have a barbing salon? When I gained admission into the university, I met a lecturer who doubled as a lawyer, had a goat farm, wrote speeches, played advisory role on budget matters to the government and to crown it all, he was the head of department! In fact, if Jack was a Nigerian, then he would certainly be that my lecturer. But was he a master of none? You will know at the end of this article.
Do I blame those people for attempting several trades? NO. Maybe in saner climes, yes. But in a country like Nigeria with turbulent economy and finance, the major way to stay afloat is to have multiple streams of income. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket is the trending advice as people have forgotten the proverbial Jack. In Nigeria, more than 60% of civil servants have personal businesses that sustain them, especially for times when the government decides to play ping pong or hide and seek with their salaries.
But is it only Nigeria that has a large population of jacks of all trade? Negative. They exist in most capitalist economies. The richest men in the world today are Jacks, people who are lucky enough to have had their hands in the sweetest and most lucrative pies.
As a man with several ideas, I grew up thinking it is wrong to be a jack of several trades. However looking at the harsh and dynamic realities of life, I’ve realized that putting all your eggs in one basket is one sure way to lose all your eggs. Testing new waters isn’t bad as long as you are armed with adequate information both financially, mentally and physically.
So, about my lecturer? Was he a nonentity at his jobs? No, if anything, he was a five star master! An accomplished man par excellence, he’d proven beyond reasonable doubt that it was possible to be a jack of all trades and master of all.
However, it is not easy to be a jack of all trade. Rather than kill yourself, if you can’t handle the heat, stay with one.
©JohnSketcher

5 thoughts on “Jack of all trades, master of none

  • October 31, 2019 at 1:19 pm
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    I had a lecturer that was an engineer and a pharmacist….. He behaves like a mad man in class. In fact let me not say that he is abnormal but if you are unlucky and he decides to hate you, sorry you can’t pass his course until you are able to appease him. To such people Jackie affects their personality….. Well, I may be quoted wrong, may be is his natural behavior, who knows?

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    • Ice Blog
      October 31, 2019 at 3:07 pm
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      Hehehe. ..I can only imagine such abnormalities. Chei!

      Reply
  • November 25, 2019 at 5:19 pm
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    If you try to stay with one in this bleak economy, believe me u go turn OKON UKPOK EKPAD. Our GDP is very low, and hardly could one sustain life with that. In fact, mostly those who have multiple sources of income can comfortably foot their bills.
    More so, to be very candid, if you don’t crave to learn many things in this part of the world, you are bound to be exploited or defrauded in your oblivion.
    My thoughts is to be a Jack of all trade and a master of at least one. Its good to have a nodding acquittance with every facet of life. In Nigeria versatility pays.

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