Growing Outside of Your Craft

10,000 hours. That’s the magic number that all of us work toward on a daily basis. It takes some thousand hours or so to be only okay at something, and 10,000 to be a “master” in your craft, or at least to come off as someone who knows what they’re doing. In this pursuit of mastery, it’s important for us to take a step back every so often and explore outside our skill set, outside of our profession, and outside of what we consider comfortable. Harbr pushes each of its members to, yes hone your craft, but also to explore the endless possibilities outside of it. Check out why we dedicate time to things we know nothing about.

“...hardships are always accompanied by growth.”

Comfort is the catalyst to becoming old news

We just wanted to preface this article by saying that we are most definitely not saying that growing in your profession is a bad thing or that it is your comfort zone. However, it is important to realize that sometimes, in the 10,000 hour long journey, there are ups and downs. In those down moments, you can either get stuck and feel comfortable, or you can use them as incredible times of growth. This is why we try to push each other to break out of those comfort zones, because we know that those hardships are always accompanied by growth. When you break out of your skill set and begin exploring other crafts, you put yourself in a constant state of learning. In the beginning stages, the lessons we learn can be applied to our own profession. Although the correlation between shutter speed and aperture isn’t often related to writing, learning to be patient to produce something great can be.

Masters of all

We’ve all got those friends who seem to know just enough about everything and are able to hold a conversation on pretty much any topic, or maybe you’re that friend. Growing and having interests outside of your skill set is one of the easiest ways to actually be an interesting person. The word authenticity comes to mind, not because any one of those interest areas makes you an intriguing person, but because the way you blend all of them together does. Being a well rounded person leads to social growth; even though you may not know much about design or painting or writing, knowing the fundamentals is an easy way to start a conversation with someone who does.

Diamond in the Rough

When starting to learn anything, what’s the cliché? Practice makes perfect. Not the case, though. Practice makes progress. When first starting to delve into any topic, you practice, and you gather, and you read, and then you practice some more. When you’re 5,000 hours into something, sure, go for quality over quantity. But in those beginning stages quantity is where it’s at. Stepping outside of what makes you comfortable teaches you to let go of perfection, if only for a brief moment. 99 out of 100 things you produce in this new craft will be garbage. That one single thing that’s actually okay though, that’s what makes exploring outside of your profession worth it. Producing anything and everything is how you get yourself out there. It’s how you create opportunities for yourself, rather than waiting for them to be handed to you.

Just to restate, we’re not saying that putting hours into your craft is a bad thing; it’s actually a wonderful and magical thing. It’s just good to be a well-rounded, experienced person. Exploration helps you stay relevant in a world that changes by the second and it helps you come to the understanding that what you put out in the beginning stages is your first work, not your best work. Explore, create, learn, grow, achieve, succeed.

Do it.