The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

INTRO Jack of All Trades, Master of None

Remove ads while supporting the Unscripted philosophy...become an INSIDER.


New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Apr 1, 2017
Hi everyone,

Thanks for having me.
At 31 y/o I've been an IT engineer, a Hopeless amateur trader, an Insurance agent, Insurance Lobbyist and a recently a Publicity agent.
Today I'm starting an Insurtech startup to create my Fastlane life.

Introduction to the intro

In a way, I have already started this path, which began when I was in college.
One day at the library I stumbled on the "4 hour workweek". (MJ's book came to me some years later...)
At that time, I thought that I had to travel a path that was the same as everyone's...
Finish your college, get a 9-5 job, work your a$$ off, take some additional training, and someday I would get some freedom.
But, by reading the "fisherman's tale" from the "4 hour workweek" I understood that my goals in life were simpler, and possibly attainable very soon in life, only if it was possible to do something different...
In fact setting a vision for my life and concluding about my goals, could have been my greatest achievement early on.

Chapter I - IT engineer at Hell's Inc.

So, having concluded about my vision and goals in life, my everyday life - working for a multi-national IT consulting firm - started to look less interesting.
I remember as if it was yesterday: going to work on the train, passing over the city's river and watching the beach and the fishermen on their boats near the shore. I asked myself, "could I go down there now, if I wanted to?" and the answer was NO. Then I would look inside the train and look at people's faces. Some would be sleeping with sunglasses on, others staring at nothing - thinking about their debt and problems at home...
This was not the life I wanted.
One day, after being blamed for an error on a software I was programming by a senior manager, that was asked to be put there on purpose by my own manager, I decided it was now IRREVERSIBLE. Either they would suck the life out of me, or I would have to make myself deal with the uncertainty of doing "who knows what"...

Chapter II - The unprepared insurance agent

This is how I came to train as as Insurance agent.
Times were though as an IT programming guy turned Insurance sales professional.
My training was composed of several hours of laws about sales, insurance, anti money laundering and some tips on which products to sell. - How to sell? - that was left for me to figure out...
I still remember my first day on the field...
Having read about "doing it until you become it", I went out to an industrial area and started to ask receptionists at factories to speak with the financial department or the business owner.
Most noticed that my voice was shaking, my forehead was dripping in sweat (it was mid August), so they just replied they weren't interested and pointed the way out.
Not willing to give up, in one of the factories which was closed for vacations, there was a man filling stuff up in the office. He listened to my speech, and to my surprise booked an appointment for me with the financial department - he was the owner.
This is how I got my first meeting, which led to my first big sale.

Chapter III - Amateur trader with no clue

At this time, the shinning object syndrome made another victim: me.
It turns out that my small interest in stocks and futures had now grown with forex.
But forex with it's big leverage was another beast - one that took me hostage...
I would spend days day-trading, learning the new system from the latest guru, earning some, then loosing some.
I started to have great dreams of buying stuff, working very little, and having it easy.
My vision was being forgotten, it started to be about having stuff and not about the process.
After some years, I finally decided to quit trading, having wasted money from something that had worked (insurance sales) in something that wasn't (forex).

Chapter IV - Lobbying for insurance tech

Having decided to live with my girlfriend - and now wife - I had to get a "job" because my agency business was not enough to support it.
It was a "job"(just over broke) because I accepted minimum wage to work for an insurtech startup.
In this company I was happy.
I didn't have a schedule, worked from home, made trips whenever it was needed and managed my own work, all I had to do was produce results.
These results were mainly the result of lobbying for my startups' services.
And having applied my hardly-earned lessons of persistence from my sales job, the job got done.
I even gave them all of my ideas, produced content regularly, recruited a sales team and a bunch of other stuff - I was feeling great, I wanted to give back! I even made a deal with the founders to get equity because of this.
But then one day it all came crashing down...
A founder tried to trick me into giving my hard-earned Insurance accounts to them, before I signed into the partnership.
I refused and left with nothing.

Having been working with a torn ligament for some time, it was time to have surgery.
This left me living out of social security for some months while in recovery, and wondering why my vision was so simple and yet, so difficult to reach.

Chapter V - Selling through writing

One day, after checking the mail, I noticed a flyer from a gym - man, was it ugly and bad at copywriting!
So I said to myself - I could do this.
In 15 days before and after Christmas I conceptualized, promoted and sold a 3 month consulting service to gyms: a full-stack publicity service: copy, design, print and distribution.
The goal was to help them with their flyers exclusively, by being a sales-first marketing effort.
This went great and I ended up doing copywriting and design, skills I didn't even know I had!
But the best part was using something that was hardly-earned early on, the sales persistance skillset.
In this 15 days, I crafted a direct-mail letter and sent it nationwide (Portugal) and then followed up with each Gym's owner to discuss it further.
I made about 500 calls in 2 days and about 1000 in the course of one week - the week after Christmas.
Most didn't want the service, some said it to be too expensive, but some bought and others even said it to be "the most effective written campaign they ever saw".
3 months Forward to March, this service is discontinued, because it proved not to be scalable.

Chapter VI - Certain of what's to come

Today, I'm building something I know for a fact is scalable.
The Insurtech that I helped grow with my ideas will have another competitor very soon.
I can feel it in my gut that this will be my fastlane, and it's unavoidable...
This time, my persistence and sales skills will guarantee that doors will be opened, my experience in shoestring will guarantee that every decision's ROI is predictable, my IT degree will allow me communicate with developers and my publicity experience will give me confidence to create killer copy and designs for investor pitch-decks.

Chapter VII - Endnotes

Although this a very long intro of myself, I considered important to give it all to you.
But if you skipped, there's one conclusion you should make.
If you haven't figured it out already until now, here it is:
No matter what it is you're planning on doing, just do it. If you have fun doing it and help people on your way, you'll get valuable skills, connections, and life experience.
Ultimately, you'll become a better, richer-person (possibly not financially) with a skillset that one day will fuel a project that will change the world.
And either having done sales or not, don't forget to persist, it is the single most important skill I have come across over the years.
Most people quit too soon - too often, not understanding that effort builds willpower and willpower fuels effort, but it's when persistance is applied that you see results.
Believe in yourselves and keep on persisting.

Thanks very much for your attention if you read this far.
Please give me some thoughts about the skill that's made you who you are.
@MJ DeMarco


Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Last edited:


New Contributor
Mar 20, 2017
The Netherlands
Welcome, I am also new. I appreciate hearing about your journey. Like you, I also have learned a lot from my j.o.b.s so far in life, things that you and I will both benefit from in our future fast lane escapades.

By the way, it's no bad thing to be jack of all trades, only thing we need to ensure is to focus. I must have registered several hundred domains in my previous internet marketing time. Now I have none, what a relief! haha


Salad Dressing Empire
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 10, 2016
Long story, but great. But such is life.

You've developed an incredible skill set over the years. Sales, copywriting, tech, lobbying. You have the perfect combination to develop a home run business.

Focus on delivering value to your customers and you will win.

Look forward to seeing your contributions on the forum.


Legendary Contributor
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 24, 2007
I'm a jack of all trades. But, I consider myself a master of all of them. Other people in those trades may not agree with this statement but that is not my concern.

My concern is that I focus on what matters to me.

Everything I have done in life has contributed to what I am doing in life now. Now is what I focus on.

Some on here talk about helping others as a focus. I never did that. Not that a person should not care about others, but I look at me first. Helping myself allows me to help others.

I agree with following your instincts. It takes the brain awhile to catch up.


Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jan 27, 2016
Lyon, France
Some on here talk about helping others as a focus. I never did that. Not that a person should not care about others, but I look at me first. Helping myself allows me to help others.


by the way, i can't really understand why capitalism should be called " helping others"

capitalism is about exchanging things in order to build wealth

this is not socialism or communism

when i give an apple to someone and he gives back a banana to me , this not "helping others"

this is just taking a thing and giving an other thing to someone

"helping others" is saving someone in the street from the winter

not exchanging things


New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Apr 1, 2017
Hi everyone,
Thanks for your participation.

In fact, focus is something I'm working on at the moment.
@pnutbudder, if you don't know about Taylor Pearson yet, I recommend you look him up.
He gave a framework to focus on your vision, setting goals and creating a habit to make it happen.
It starts by writing a 25 year vision, then defining a 90 days goal plan, and finally writing a daily journal.
This last step was something that has helped me a lot, since it shows me - at the end of the day - if I really did focus.

About being a Jack of All Trades,
I agree with @SteveO, because some career professionals tend to know less how to apply their knowledge than me.
There's lot of people that consider themselves copywriters but haven't sold a thing in their lives! How do you do that?
Put up or shut up.
Don't mistake my title for negativeness, I love being a Jack of All Trades, and as the above mentioned Taylor Pearson said, we live an Entrepreneurs' economy today, and it's my belief that having a well rounded skillset provides a head-start against your competitors.

About delivering value to others vs focusing on yourself, as was referred by @Scot, @SteveO and @GMSI7D:
I've always been about giving more than I take, some gurus talk about this a lot.
Despite having helped with my reputation on a given field, it has done nothing for my bank account.
I know that this may still be explored in some way that I didn't think of until now, but my experience shows that providing value is not the golden goose of business success...
...Yet, I still agree with @Scot on this, it's better to focus on helping others than by focusing on what I want.
Consider it this way, when developing a product/service, if I focus only on what is good for me, am I delivering value, and so, will it generate repeat customers? Possibly I won't have any customers, because the focus wasn't on what they needed.
If instead I start by developing it based on customer's input, and afterwards develop the business model, it has better chance of working and become a fastlane opportunity - at least that's how I've done it.

This brings me back again to persistence.
This is to me the best "skill" to have - if it could be called a skill.
Have to close more deals? Call more, send more emails, reach them by messenger, linkedin, etc.
Need a business partner? Go to their office, call them, send them letters, emails, heck, make their ears burn!
Need co-founders for your idea? Pitch it everywhere, make people uncomfortable from hearing it - make them want to take action.
Want to be recognized? Serve your customers well, and while it's fresh insist on having referrals - demand reciprocity.

As you might have already noticed I'm more of an online-to-offline guy.
I'm always thinking of business models that can leverage tech for offline businesses (despite the most recent being full online).
What are your preferences?

Disclaimer: I haven't got any personal or business relation with Taylor Pearson, just like his content and way of thinking.


Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 2, 2012
Cary, NC
On the other end of the spectrum, why not be the sharpest knife for a specific set of skills? A well rounded knife is often pretty dull.


Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 2, 2012
Cary, NC
@Ravens_Shadow thanks for your input.
For example, when you want to do shoestring, there isn't much you can do on your own if you are laser focused on one skill.
do you have a different experience?

For instance, I started, run and manage a software company in the computer graphics industry. I knew a bit of coding, but I also knew I certainly wasn't at the skill level I needed. What I do know however is marketing, business automation, finances, taxes, management, the industry itself inside and out, the needs of our customers, how to build good tools etc. With three narrowed down skill sets/knowledge bases: Business Management, Marketing, and inside knowledge of my particular industry, I was able to bring on a partner for what I sucked at, and I solely focus on what I know. I don't pay a dime for outsourced work (I don't outsource), and thus we're still on a shoestring budget (assuming you're talking about that). I'm not saying focus on ONE SKILL. Focus on a set of skills that compliment each other. But it's all a case by case basis. :)

Sponsored Offers

  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Fox Web School "Legend" Group Coaching Program 2020
I'm on the fence with joining. I've been job searching for about 2 months and I can't get hired...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Lex DeVille's - Advanced Freelance Udemy Courses!
If you read the last message then you know I'm removing my courses from Udemy next month. You...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Grow Your Business With a Book (An Unorthodox Marketing Strategy That Built One of the Largest...
PS. what do you think about the idea of setting up live Busking experiences on Air BNB? I could...
  • Sticky
FEATURED! Introducing... WEALTH EXPO$ED, A Short Story By MJ DeMarco
Hi Mj, I just bought it. And reading it. I think is a great idea to write using the stories to...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE You Are One Call Away From Living Your Dream Life - LightHouse’s Accountability Program ⚡
Just got off the phone with @LightHouse. Having just a 45 minute conversation with him has...
  • Sticky
MARKETPLACE Kill Bigger Incubator
@Kak Thanks for the reply. Whats interesting is that I have an idea that's been cooking which...

Forum Sponsor


New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

More Intros...

Top Bottom