How many hats?

It is very unusual to find a multi-talented person. Most people have some things they excel at, some things they can manage and some things they cannot seem to get a grip on.

It’s a rare person who can do everything well and an even rarer one who can excel at everything they attempt. But sometimes it seems like the guy who runs a small business is required to do just that.

Obviously, a typical small woodworking shop owner has to be proficient at woodworking. But he also has to be an expert on hardware. He has to know how to set up run and maintain machinery. He has to be a designer and be able to produce conceptual as well as detailed working drawings. He has to be a decent finisher. He may also need to be a good turner and a millwright. He might also need to have mastery of bending, carving and shaping. He has to be able to plan and install casework and be a good finish carpenter as well.

But that’s just the beginning. He also has to be an accountant, receptionist, PR liaison, mediator, safety inspector, purchasing agent, salesman, delivery guy, physiologist, first aid specialist, troubleshooter, problem solver, and custodian.

He must also be able to instantly shift from one to another of these tasks without so much as a second thought. He may be called upon to perform several of them simultaneously and he must perform all of them well. Of course this is a short list as there are many other areas in which the business owner must be proficient.

I am thinking that there is only one planet in the universe where such people can be found and that is Krypton. Of course, they must figure out a way to get themselves to a solar system that has a yellow sun so there’s another thing they need to be… a travel agent.



  • Like this article. Until you wrote about it, and I read it… well, it sinks in.
    I will share this article with others. Especially those who feel ‘we’ don’t do that much.
    Thanks for shining a light on a facet of my life I rarely acknowledge.

    Kindest regards,
    Aaron Radelow

  • Ken Walker says:

    I think you described what an Entrepreneur is. It what sets us apart from the “common worker”. Unfortunately, it’s rare to hire someone with this skill set description. Because, in the off chance you do actually hire a person who possess this mindset, they will usually leave and be successful in opening their own company.

    In fact, when people don’t have the whole picture as you describe, it’s when companies fail. Just watching that Hotel Nightmare show with Gordon Ramsey illustrates how often that happens.

    One thing you left off of your list, which I believe is essential, is: Knowing when you don’t know something and being able to admit it and to hire trusted sub-contractors (Read: Other Entrepreneurs) to make up for the difference.

    I did this with my furniture stripping and chair cane jobs. Jobs I could have done, but there were people who could do a better job for less money in less time. This made me more efficient and we all benefitted.

  • Dito, myself and another friend of the same description have discussed this but never broke it down to that level, we missed a few jobs in our count, or were scared to acknowledge them.
    Likely, due to being to busy, doing something that needed to be done, to really take a good look. haha

  • Ron Visser says:

    I thought I was filling tiered over the last 35 years!
    Now I know why.
    I fill better now that I can see it written out.


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