Hustle Harder: Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None

By Donny Goines  |  04/25/2008

Donny GoinesI know someone (for the purpose of this blog let's call him "Jack") who does everything under the sun. He's an artist, a CEO, a songwriter, and too many other misc titles to name. Now if you're an avid reader of my blogs, you've probably read one titled "learn to wear different hats," but this is not case here. "Jack" just does too many things and because of this, he's not mastering any of them. Don't be like "Jack."

Many people ask me the same exact question time and time again. They ask "How did you come up so fast?" One of the main reasons is very simple. I work hard at mastering my craft everyday. I don't have a 9 to 5, I don't party, I don't chill and I don't waste time pursuing other goals. Since the moment I decided to make this a career, that's EXACTLY what I did. I am an artist. That's my job and that's why I need to focus on. I'm not a doctor, lawyer, model, real estate agent or anything else. So many up-and-coming artists make this mistake and it can cost you. I know many people right now that are struggling to come up and it's because they don't understand that you can't put in %20 of work into something and expect %100 worth of results. It just doesn't add up. You can't master several things at once. It's an unrealistic thought and you will waste a lot of time if you don't realize this. If you are an artist, BE AN ARTIST!!!!

Take me for example. Many people wonder why I don't get a part time job. Here's the answer. I'm not starving. I'm not homeless. I don't "need" jewelry, the best clothes or any other extra trinkets. I have a great support system of family and friends that help me do the things that are NECESSARY to pursue my career. So why would I waste four, six or eight hours of my day when I don't NEED to? In order for me to be an artist, all I need is music and a something to write on. Period. I don't need a gold chain to make a record. I don't need a large apartment or house to create a song. I don't need a pocket full of money to write a freestyle. This IS my job and therefore I take it very seriously. I do without in order for to have the freedom to work on my craft 24/7. Inspiration is not like a light switch. It is not a faucet you can turn on and off. Sometimes you need the time to have the space and freedom to do what's best for you. If that means having the bare minimum for awhile, or not going to the club, dating, etc. Is it the end of the world? Think about it. Sometimes in life you have to give all your attention to something in order for it to work and why should music be any different?

If you want to be a hip-hop artist perfect your craft. Perform at shows. Write several songs and freestyles. Work hard on every aspect of it daily and always try to out do what you did before. Don't allow things to get in your way. Learn how to block out unnecessary problems and issues in life and lock in. Don't do activities that won't help you succeed within your career. It's a waste of time. Wait till you master the art of your craft and then start to move on to the next. This is how you make progress and once you realize that, you will be better off. Every rapper can't sell a clothing line. Every artists can't be a CEO. Every aspiring musician can't be a mogul. Some just have to do music and it's nothing wrong with that. If anything, it will make you great at your craft and isn't that what you want to be in the end? A great artist? If you "have" to work or do some other kind of side hustle in order to pursue your dreams, then do what you have to do, but if you have the ability to focus on your craft solely then I would STRONGLY advise you to do so. You'll thank me for it one day.

"Jack" is foolish. He will never have any real success in anything he does because his life is spread too thin. He might be "good" at some things, but he will never be great at one. He will never master any craft and when it's all said and done he will see the error in his ways. Don't end up like "Jack."

For more on me and my music visit my Myspace page at