85+ Jack of All Trades Quotes and Sayings

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Discover the true meaning of the jack of all trades quote and what the world’s most influential philosophers think about it. 

You’ve probably used or heard of the popular adage “jack of all trades, master of none“, but where does it come from and what does it truly mean?

The saying “jack of all trades, master of none” was first quoted by Williams Speaspeare. It is used to describe a person who has dabbled in many trades but has no expertise in any one of them. However, this quote conjures up negative connotations without the full version.

There is a common misconception about this adage but before we discuss this, here is the full quote:

 “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” ― William Shakespeare

 

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Most people often use it in a context other than that which it was intended for. The full version shows that this quote does not suggest that is better to be an expert in something than to be skilled at several things. On the contrary, it is a complement to someone who is capable of doing several things well rather than being a specialist. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs today swear by the benefits of learning different trades.

JefF Bezos, one of the richest men in the world today, is commonly known as the founder of Amazon. What most people do not know is that he is also the founder of an aerospace company and owner of The Washington Post. This is often the same diversification strategy seen in most success stories. Rich people attain immense wealth by finding opportunities and dabbing into new territories.

It is great to pick a specialist career and become an expert in that field but trying out of things can lead to self-discovery and financial freedom. Flexibility in one’s life and career can be facilitated by having a firm grasp of a variety of ideas or a passable level of expertise in a number of abilities.

There has always been on constant debate on which is better— jack of all trades or master of one? They both have pros and cons. Generally, there is a greater risk associated with specialization and a lower risk in diversification. However, learning many different trades may limit your ability to master one because your attention and resources will be divided.

Some philosophers have agreed with the jack of all trades idealogy while others challenged it.

Of course, our failures are a consequence of many factors, but possibly one of the most important is the fact that society operates on the theory that specialization is the key to success, not realizing that specialization precludes comprehensive thinking.” ― R. Buckminster Fuller, American Architect, Theorist and Philosopher.

“Only by strict specialization can the scientific worker become fully conscious, for once and perhaps never again in his lifetime, that he has achieved something that will endure. A really definitive and good accomplishment is today always a specialized act.”  ― Max Weber, German Sociologist and Historian

 

Continue reading for 85+ jack of all trades quotes!

 

Short Jack Of All Trades Quotes

1. “Jack of all trades, master of none.” ― Spanish Proverb

2. “I think actors become jacks-of-all-trades and masters of none.” ― Josh Lucas

3.  “You call it a jack of all trades but I call it exploration.” ― Unknown

4. “Don’t be a jack of all trades if you want to be known as an expert in something”. ―  Unknown

5. “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” ― Ernest Hemingway

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6. “You can achieve anything, but not everything.”― Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

7. “I’m a jack of all trades, master of none.” ― Keith Allen

8. “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” – Meet Viktor Vicsek

9. “Life is like a tango; fortunate are the few who can master it.”― A.J. Garces

10. “Creativity follows mastery, so mastery of skills is the first priority for young talent.” – Benjamin Bloom

11. “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious.” ― Albert Einstein

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12. “You can be extraordinary in anything but not in everything.”― Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

13. “A jack of all trades is a master of versatility.” – Unknown

14.“Life is too short to be a master of one, be a jack of all trades and experience everything.” ― Unknown

15. We are the generations capable of doing many things at once, without enjoying any of them. ” ― Unknown

16. “Acquire several skills and find at least one that you can master, and that earns you respect.”― Bryant McGill

17. “We are all experts in our own little niches.” ― Alex Trebek

18. “The shoemaker makes a good shoe because he makes nothing else.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

19. “You specialize in something until one day it is specializing in you.” ―Arthur Miller

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20.  “Make a habit of trying new things.” – Anonymous

21. “If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.” Tom Peters

22. “So many things seem impossible until you try.”― Wayne Gerard Trotman

23. “You can do anything, but not everything.” ― David Allen

24. “Mastery passes often for egotism.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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25. “I’m a big believer in always challenging yourself and learning new skills.” ― Gretchen Carlson

 

Inspirational Jack Of All Trades Quotes

26. “I’m not a jack of all trades; I’m a master of many. I don’t feel there is anything I can’t do if I want to.” – Evel Knievel

27. “I am one of those people who isn’t great at anything, but I’m pretty good at most things.” – Tom Ford

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28. I’m the definition of a jack of all trades but a master of none. I can pickup new skills easily and advance in them quickly but never truly master any of them.” ―Michelle Otter

29. I’ve been a jack of all trades, master of none, all my life. But now, I’m ready to change that. I’m ready to focus on one thing and achieve greatness.” ― John Kim

30. “I’m kind of a jack of all trades. I have played all kinds of roles in the theater.” – Jenn Lyon

31. “Jack of all trades, master of none, though often better than a master of one.” – Adam Savage

32. ” Where the different kinds of work are not distinguished and divided, where everyone is a jack-of-all-trades, there manufactures remain still in the greatest barbarism.”  — Immanuel Kant

33. “The trouble is that after nine years as a Jack of all trades and Master of the Dominican Order, I have no expertise on anything except airports and exotic foods.” — Timothy Radcliffe

34. “Jack of all trades, master of none.. He’d always thought knowing many things gave him strength. Now it made him feel vulnerable.” – Rachel Cane

35. “My purist comedy friends accuse me of being a Jack of all trades and master of none.” — Marcus Brigstocke

36.  “Jack of all trades or master of one? If you’re a master of one, you’ll soon be a master of none. Times are a changin. Be a jack of all trades. Or better, master of many!” ― Richie Norton

37. “The jack-of-all-trades seldom is good at any. Concentrate all of your efforts on one definite chief aim.” – Napoleon Hill

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38. “When it comes to mastering a skill, time is the magic ingredient.”— Robert Greene

39. “To become a master at any skill, it takes the total effort of your: heart, mind, and soul working together in tandem.”― Maurice Young

40. “Jack of all trades or master of one? If you’re a master of one, you’ll soon be a master of none. Times are a changin. Be a jack of all trades. Or better, master of many!” – Richie Norton

41. “Nobody ever mastered any skill except through intensive persistent and intelligent practice.”— Norman Vincent Peale

42. “Well, I was sort of a jack-of-all-trades in show business for a long time. I was a singer and a dancer and then I got a job as an actor.” – Christopher Walken

43. “Jack of all trades, master of none.. He’d always thought knowing many things gave him strength. Now it made him feel vulnerable.” – Rachel Cane

44. “I wouldn’t say that I’m a jack of all trades, master of none, but I wouldn’t say that I’m brilliant at any.” – Noel Clarke

45. “Mastery is great, but even that is not enough. You have to be able to change course without a bead of sweat, or remorse.” –Tom Peters

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46. “Gather in your resources, rally all your faculties, marshal all your energies, focus all your capacities upon mastery of at least one field of endeavor.” ― John Hagee

47. “To make money, to gather knowledge, to learn a new skill, to explore new territory, even to get from A to B – for all these things you need time. For almost everything you need time, except for one thing: to embrace the present moment.” ― Eckhart Tolle

48. “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” — Thomas Alva Edison

49.“When what we have mastered becomes mundane, we feel pain. The antidote is pursuit.”― Kelsey Ramsden

50. “Acquire several skills and find at least one that you can master, and that earns you respect.”― Bryant McGill

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51. “Once you have mastered the craft, you can use it for whatever purpose you choose.”― Hassan Fathy

52. “Learning a difficult skill takes time. But remember, the harder the skill is to learn, the more fulfilling it is when you reach the finish line.” ― Mark Joseph Aduana

53. “Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.”― Steve Jobs

54. “Many of us never ever discover our greatness because we become sidetracked by a secondary activity.”― Og Mandino

55. “Inevitably we find ourselves tackling too many things at the same time, spreading our focus so thin that nothing gets the attention it deserves. This is commonly referred to as “being busy.” Being busy, however, is not the same thing as being productive.” ― Ryder Carroll

56. “You can do two things at once, but you can’t focus effectively on two things at once.”― Gary Keller

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57. “We are the generation capable of doing many things at once, without enjoying any of them..”― Dinesh Kumar Biran

58.  I’d rather do one thing well than many things badly. Quality supersedes quantity every time.”― Stewart Stafford

59. “Jack of all trades master of none but once you learn how to juggle, you rarely drop the ball”― Kristin Michelle Elizabeth

60. “Doing one thing at a time is a recipe for a life that won’t keep up with your dreams.”― Monroe Mann

61. “Juggling is an illusion. In reality, the balls are being independently caught and thrown in rapid succession. It is actually task switching.” ― Gary Keller

62. “Ability to do many jobs at a time is not exactly success. But doing one job with utter perfection is the success sought after.” ― Mayank Singh Saini

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63. “You must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work … You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success.”― Chef Jiro

64. “If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” ― Michelangelo

65. “Mastering ONE Thing serves as a platform for, and speeds up the process of, doing other things. Knowledge begets knowledge and skills build on skills. It’s what makes future dominoes fall more easily. Mastery is a pursuit that keeps giving, because it’s a path that never ends.” – Gary Keller

66. “Don’t worry about being famous or making money; the most important thing is being the best. You have to become a master of your craft, and everything else will come.” ―  Anastasia Soare

67. “I told her once I wasn’t good at anything. She told me survival is a talent.”― Susanna Kaysen

68.”Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe you can achieve.” — Mary Kay Ash

69. “A man can succeed at almost anything for which he has unlimited enthusiasm.” — Charles Schwab

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70. “Would you do your job and not be paid for it? I would do this job and take on a second job just to make ends meet if nobody paid me. That’s how you know you are doing the right thing.” — Oprah

71.“Learn as though you would never be able to master it; hold it as though you would be in fear of losing it.” — Confucius, Chinese Philosopher

72. “The only skill that will be important in the 21st century is the skill of learning new skills. Everything else will become obsolete over time.” — Peter Drucker

73. “In order to master a field, you must love the subject and feel a profound connection to it. Your interest must transcend the field itself and border on the religious.” ― Robert Greene

74. “One of the problems with expertise is that people have it in some domains and not in others.” ― Daniel Kahneman

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75. “You have to adapt and find your niche, in terms of the type of player you can become, both on and off the pitch. I always knew I’d have no chance against a 1.90m, 90kg defender in a duel, so the key is to avoid these situations altogether. You have to pick your space and time.” ― Thomas Muller

76.  “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

77.  “What’s fun for me is to try new things and push myself and not get stuck in one genre or another, or stuck with one character or another.” – Steven Strait

78. “Life is worthwhile if you try. It doesn’t mean you can do everything but there are a lot of things you can do, if you just try.”—Jim Rohn

79. “Devote yourself to learning something new about your field of mastery every day.” ― Robin Sharma

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80. “I’ve taken a tenacious bulldog approach to learning new skills throughout my life.” ― Apollo Robbins

81. “Everything you can learn from is an opportunity to become stronger.” ― Daniel Ricciardo

82. “I would more appropriately define mastery as the technical ability possible within the constraints of your particular existence.” ― Chris Matakas

83. “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.”  ― Albert Einstein

84.  “The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways.”― Robert Greene, Mastery

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85.  “I’m always trying new things and learning new things.” – Morgan Freeman

86. “In an age of specialization people are proud to be able to do one thing well, but if that is all they know about, they are missing out on much else life has to offer.”  ― Dennis Flanagan

 

The Takeaway

Being a jack of all trades has its advantages and drawbacks, and so is being a master of one trade. In some industries and careers, there are limited opportunities to be a generalist and in these professions, specialist skills are required. Plus, every individual is different.

Some people can learn faster, focus better, and are good multi-taskers while others can unlock their true potential when specializing in trade. So, find what works for you, work hard towards achieving your goals, and be open to new opportunities.

Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

 

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