Master Your Craft
The carpenter continued, "I get jobs as a carpenter but I approach my work as a craftsman." "What's the difference?" asked Michael. "A carpenter builds things. A craftsman creates a work of art. While most people approach their work with the mindset that they just want to get it done, craftsmen are more concerned with who they are becoming and what they are creating rather than how fast they finish it. After all, it's no use finishing something if it's not a work of art. The world is filled with those who get things done the fastest and the cheapest, but it needs more artists, craftsmen, and craftswomen. When you become a craftsman in a world of carpenters, you will stand out and people will clamor to work with you."
"When did you first realize the difference between a carpenter and a craftsman?" asked Michael. The carpenter paused for a few moments as a tear ran down his cheek. "When I was a teenager, I was watching my father make a cabinet for the first time. He was using the finest and most expensive wood available. We didn't have a lot of money so I asked him why he didn't use cheaper wood for the back of the cabinet, which no would see. My father shook his head and said "no." I asked him why not, since no one will know. My father replied, "I will know. You will know. We will know."
"That's when I knew what it meant to be an artist. That's when I knew I would be a craftsman even though the costs were greater. The wood was more expensive; the work required more energy, focus, and effort; the process was filled with more sweat and failure; and the years and tears it took to master my craft were greater, but it was the only way. My father taught me that when I fall in love with the process, I will love what the process creates."
"It’s not easy," Michael said, knowing the sweat, tears, and years he put into his career in sales before launching Social Connect.
"No, it’s not easy at all," the carpenter continued, becoming more animated than Michael had ever seen him.
"Everyone can be a craftsman or craftswoman but not everyone is willing to become one. As I walk this earth and city, I find that everyone wants to do what the great ones do but very few are willing to do what they did to become great. Too many want five minutes of fame but they don’t want to spend the thousands of hours it takes to master their craft. When I meet young carpenters they ask me how and why I am in such demand. They think I became an overnight success. But I tell them, there's no such thing as an overnight success."
"The way to success is the way of the craftsman, where you work really hard for years. You show up every day. You do the work. You see yourself as an artist dedicated to your craft with a desire to get better every day. You put your heart and soul into your work as you strive for excellence. You desire to create perfection, knowing you'll never truly achieve it but hoping to get close to it. You try new things. You fail. You improve. You grow. You face countless challenges and tons of rejection that make you doubt yourself and cause you to want to quit. But you don't. You keep working hard, stay positive, and persevere through it all with resilience, determination, and a lot of hope and faith."
"Then you make it! Everyone wants to work with you. And the world says, 'Where have you been?’ And you say, 'I've been here all along, and hopefully getting better day by day.' To the world, you are an overnight success. To you, the journey continues. You're a craftsman who wants to make your next work of art your best work no matter what you have accomplished in the past."
Then he paused and laughed. "Which means your entertainment center is going to be the best work of my life," the carpenter said, smiling as they pulled up to the home improvement store.
Excerpts from The Carpenter – www.Carpenter11.com