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Men have conducted many separate, unrelated businesses successfully, with the aid of the master mind, but I have always believed they would have done much better had they confined their efforts entirely to one line of business.  Splitting one's attention has effect of dividing one's powers.

Men have conducted many separate, unrelated businesses successfully, with the aid of the master mind, but I have always believed they would have done much better had they confined their efforts entirely to one line of business.  Splitting one's attention has effect of dividing one's powers.


That is, the best plan for anyone to follow is to devote all his energies to some specific field.  This concentration enables one to specialize in that field.  Listen, even doctors who engage in general practice do not have a better opportunity to add to their income than those who specialize in one particular branch of medicine.
The opposite is always true.  If you ever have occasion to engage a specialist to remove your appendix, as some have had, you will learn that specialization in medicine pays more than generalization. 
This same rule applies in the field of every line of business and every calling.  And get this right, modern merchandising has practically made the old fashioned general store obsolete.  While the most prosperous stores are departmentalized, they are not the same as the old general merchandise stores, because each department is managed by a specialist who devotes all his time to that department.
You might say that modern department store is nothing but a group of highly specialized stores, all operating under one roof and one general overhead, but possessing increased buying power that gives the store a tremendous advantage over smaller stores.
This would also be right when you then say that the department store is managed under the principle of controlled attention.  That and other principles of the philosophy of individual achievement, especially the master mind principle and definiteness of purpose. 
Also, even the banking business is managed also by the application of the principle of controlled attention. Every department of a large bank and practically every individual position in each department are highly specialized.  The same is true of railroading.  Practically every position in the railroad business is specialized. 
Promotions are often from the bottom upward, and the men holding the more responsible positions have had training in nearly all the subordinate position, but they never undertake to hold two jobs at the same time.   
Men become highly skilled by confining their efforts to specialized work.  Here, too, promotions are from the bottom upward.  All of our head men have served their apprenticeship in subordinate jobs in the operating end of the business.
Thus, I believe, then that the better opportunities of the future will be available to those who concentrate their efforts along only some specialized lines.  Also in the profession of teaching, it is possible for a teacher to prepare himself to teach many different subjects but this is not generally advisable. 
If it were practical for a teacher to do better work by devoting his efforts to a diversity of subjects, the universities would have discovered this long ago.  The student who is preparing himself for a life work should also specialize in some particular branch of education.
Yes, if he knows what his definite major purpose in life is to be.  Otherwise he should confine his efforts to a general educational course until such time as he chooses a goal.  Then he should continue his education through specialized training. 
The lawyer, for example, usually takes a course in general education, and then specializes in law.  The doctor usually does likewise.  General education gives one an approach to organized thinking, self discipline and self reliance, all essential qualities for success in any calling.
Even a farmer should specialize also.  Yes, he should, but usually he does not.  This is one of the major weaknesses of agriculture.  The men who are making the most money from the soil are those who specialize in certain crops, such as wheat, rye, barley, and trucking.  The farmer who raises a little of everything very seldom receive much for anything he raises.
What about accountants or bookkeepers?  Should they specialize, too?  Yes, unless he is contented to remain always a bookkeeper, and even then he will make more from his work if he specializes in some particular branch of accounting.
The better paid men in this field usually branch out from general bookkeeping to auditing and the installation of accounting systems.  A clever man in this field finds it quite profitable, for every business beyond the one man size needs dependable records of its transactions
I am going to give you a hard one.  What about the young woman who intends to marry?  What chance has she of specializing, unless it is in connection with pots and pans and the rearing of babies?  That is not as hard though to imagine.  Of all the people who should specialize for a life work I can think of no one who might do os to better advantage than the woman who intends to make marriage a career.
Sure she should specialize.  She should specialize, first, in the psychology of managing a husband, by learning how to inspire a man to do his very best.  After that she should specialize in household economy, so she may contribute her part in managing the home.   She should specialize, also, in dietetics, so she will know how to feed a family the sort of food that aids in the maintenance of sound health.
All these come under the heading of preparation for the career of marriage, the greatest of all careers.   The woman who completes a college course can plan her education so she will learn how to manage a home, and if she intends to marry that is precisely what she should do.  If she wishes to become a career woman, of course she should plan her education accordingly.
There is some part that everyone can take in the scheme of things.  Some part through which he can render useful service and gain his just compensation.  It is everyone's responsibility to find out what his part is, and to prepare himself for it.  A well ordered life requires preparation.  Before one begins to prepare, he should know for what he is preparing himself.  That, within itself, is concentration of effort.
The man who has no definite purpose in life, who cannot do some one thing and do it well, is like a dry leaf on the bosom of the wind.  He will be tossed here and there, wherever the winds of chance carry him, but like the rolling stone, he will gather no moss.  Unfortunately, the majority of people spend their lives in thus rolling.
A man should choose his definite major purpose before beginning his education, and prepare himself to specialize in connection with that aim.  If he still is unable to choose a major purpose in life he should either go to work and learn, from experience, of the possibilities of different occupations, or go to college and take a general liberal arts educational course.   After that one should be able to decide what calling he wishes to follow.
Even when you have choose a definite major purpose, but finds, after you pursued it for awhile, that you dislikes it, or you finds something you likes better, by all means, make a change.  A man will succeed best in that which he likes best, all else being equal.  It is advisable for one to change provided he does not get into the habit of changing every time the work he has chosen becomes difficult, or he meets with temporary defeat.
Changing from one line of work to another involves a tremendous loss.  It is something like an industrial plant, the management of which changes from one product to another.  The successful person must reach the stage of specialization, sooner or later; the sooner the better.
See you at the top of success.

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