You might know Adam Scott as the creator of Dilbert, but before his globally loved comic strips took off, Scott worked a number of different jobs as a bank teller, computer programmer, commercial lender, product manager, and even (self-described) “fake engineer”.
The guy had more than just a good eye for comics, he’s actually credited with coining the term “talent stack”, a concept that’s just about reached buzzword-level in recent times. While we’re not particularly keen on the word “talent”, switch it out with “skill” — something you can develop and learn as you go rather than pre-determined the second you pop into the world — and we’re all for it.
A skill stack is a set of individual skills that when combined in the right way, add up to a super skill. Basically, this combination of skills makes you more qualified, more hireable, and more prepared for [insert any job/endeavor/challenge here] than if you had just focused on one skill alone.
The beautiful thing about skill stacking is that it allows you to take a mediocre, if not average, ability to help you become the best of the best at what you want to do.
Scott lays it out well when he explains his own success with Dilbert: “When you add in my ordinary business skills, my strong work ethic, my risk tolerance, and my reasonably good sense of humor, I’m fairly unique. And in this case, that uniqueness has commercial value.”
Diversification is just as important for your investments as it is for your expertise. By stacking your skills you create a unique edge which ultimately increases your odds of success. And we LOVE that for you.
In today’s world, generalists have the advantage, but ONLY if they know how to package what they can offer in the right way.
So think about what you’re good at.
We’d say that Codie over here is a pretty good salesperson, a pretty good writer, and a pretty good speaker. She might not be the best salesperson, writer, or speaker, but when you put those all together that makes her a pretty damn good investor. Why? Precisely because of that unique mix of abilities.
What we’re interested in at UA is how you can use skill stacking to up your business-buying game. When you take the time to figure out how to stack your skills, you can:
Negotiate your buying price because you can now trade your super skill in for $$$’s
Get a better understanding of which ones you’re lacking and either figure out a plan to acquire them yourself or find someone else who can fill this gap in for you.
Establish yourself as an expert instead of a jack of all trades and master of none.
You don’t need to be remarkable at any one thing to be successful. But what you do need to do, is establish yourself as someone who can bring something unique to the table. The easiest, most effective way to do that is by stacking the skills you already have.
Why stick with adding, when you can multiply your earning potential?
Codie Sanchez & Ryan Snow
Co-founders, Unconventional Acquisitions